Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin's on-field performance prior to his life-threatening injury is being credited as one of the top players based on performance-based distribution in the NFL, according to a list shared by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo on Friday (March 17).
Hamlin, who was selected by the Bills in the sixth-round of the 2021 NFL Draft, ranked 21st among the league's 'top 25 performance-based pay distribution for 2022' for his play through 15 games prior to suffering cardiac arrest on the field of a since-cancelled Monday Night Football game in January.
"Damar Hamlin comes in as No. 21 with $652,470 in performance based pay added to his $834,145 in salary and bonus. With 13 starts in 15 games played, Hamlin takes home almost $1.5 million in total compensation for 2022," Garafolo tweeted in response to Pelissero's sharing of the list.
The league's performance-based pay "is a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary" and players are considered eligible if they "receive a bonus distribution in any regular season in which they play at least one official down," with players who have greater playtime percentages and lower salary benefits ranking higher, according to a statement shared by ESPN's Alaina Getzenberg.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Marcus Epps, a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, topped the list with a rounded distribution of $880,384.
On Thursday (March 16), Bills general manager Brandon Beane told Getzenberg that he visited Hamlin several days prior and the safety intended to make an NFL return and was "trending in the right direction."
"We'll get him through all [medical consultations] and then we'll make sure all of our medical people are hearing all those opinions on each visit and make sure that we're all on the same page of what it would look like," Beane said, according to Getzenberg.
Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during the first quarter of the Bills' since-cancelled Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2. A stretcher and ambulance came onto the field and CPR was administered by first responders.
Hamlin was hospitalized at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and initially reported to be in critical condition before making a miraculous recovery, which coincided with an outpouring of support from players, coaches and fans. A GoFundMe page initially launched by Hamlin's Chasing M's Foundation to support a toy drive prior to his medical situation -- and later to support his recovery after far exceeding its $2,500 goal -- raised more than $9 million.
The Pittsburgh native was released from UC Medical Center one week after suffering cardiac arrest and discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute after completing a series of tests and evaluations two days later.