Mike Patterson just one of several players earning reduced salaries while on reserve lists

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

On Saturday afternoon, the Philadelphia Eagles officially activated defensive tackle Mike Patterson from the "Reserve/Non-Football Injury" list after undergoing surgery in January to remove an arteriovenous malformation in his brain, a problem that was discovered following a seizure during the 2011 training camp.

Originally scheduled to earn $2.1 million in base salary in 2012, Patterson and the Eagles agreed to a restructured contract that included a reduced, "split" rate of $1.05 million that he would be paid while on the NFI list. After earning the $1.05 million rate ($61,765 per week) for the first eight weeks of the season, Patterson will now earn nine game checks at the $2.1 million rate, $123,529 per week. If  Patterson remains on the 53-man roster for the duration of the season, he'll earn a total of $1,605,883 for the 2012 season, $494,117 less than he would have earned under his full rate over the entire season.

Patterson wasn't the only Eagles player to agree to a renegotiated contract that included a "split" rate. On July 26, left tackle Jason Peters reduced his $7.9 million base salary to $4 million while on the "Reserve/Non-Football Injury" list after twice tearing his Achilles tendon during the offseason.

Non-Eagles Earning Reduced Rates While On Reserve Lists

In addition to Patterson and Peters, Washington Redskins offensive tackle Jammal Brown renegotiated his contract on Aug. 6, agreeing to reduce his $3.25 million base salary to $1.7 million while he was on the physically unable to perform list. Brown underwent surgery on his hip and is hoping to return at some point in November.

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters was paid at a reduced rate for the seven weeks he was on the "Reserve/Non-Football Injury" list. Originally scheduled to earn $540,000 in 2012, Peters was paid at a $303,000 rate ($17,824 per week) before re-joining the active roster, where he earns $31,765 per game. Peters suffered a stress fracture in his foot while running during the offseason.

The Indianapolis Colts have been paying fifth-round defensive tackle Josh Chapman at a "split" rate of $273,000, $16,059 per week as he recovers from knee surgery. Chapman is expected to be added to the 53-man roster this week, at which point he'll begin earning $22,941 per week on a $390,000 base salary rate. San Francisco 49ers fifth-round linebacker Darius Fleming and undrafted running back Jewel Hampton are earning the $273,000 rate ($16,059 per week) while on the physically unable to perform (Fleming) and NFI (Hampton) lists.

Dallas Cowboys center/guard Kevin Kowalski is being paid at a $288,000 rate ($16,941 per week) while on the physically unable to perform list.

San Diego Chargers offensive tackle Brandyn Dombrowski, a restricted free agent in 2012, agreed to a new contract on Aug. 27 that not only reduced his salary from $1.26 million to $615,000, but included a "split" that further reduced his salary to $343,000 while he was on the NFI list, where he remains entering Week 10. Dombrowski has a cyst on his foot. Chargers fifth-round offensive tackle Johnnie Troutman received a $191,752 signing bonus as part of a four-year, $2.188 million contract, even though he was not expected to play at all this season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the days leading up to the 2012 NFL draft. While on the NFI list, the Chargers have been paying Troutman as if he were on the practice squad, which has a minimum rate of $5,700 per week. Troutman will be returning to practice this week.

Similar "practice squad" rates are being paid to a pair of undrafted rookies who have been on their respective teams' NFI list since the start of training camp.

Running back Jonas Gray tore his ACL during his final season at Notre Dame and signed a three-year, $1.44 million contract with the Miami Dolphins on May 4. Gray is earning $5,700 per week while on the NFI list and returned to practice two weeks ago. Undrafted rookie offensive tackle Markus Zusevics received a $13,000 signing bonus on May 10 from the New England Patriots, who are paying the former Iowa standout $5,700 per week as he recovers from a torn pectoral muscle that he suffered during the 2012 scouting combine.

Falcons safety Matt Hansen ruptured his patella tendon while working out in late June and is not earning a salary from the team while he rehabs his injury.

Two More Players Earning Increased Salaries On Practice Squad

Last month, Shutdown Corner reported that the New England Patriots are paying practice squad wide receiver Greg Salas as if he were on the 53-man roster, and that the St. Louis Rams were paying increased salaries to practice squad offensive linemen Brandon Washington and Ty Nsekhe. Two more practice squad players can be added to the "increased salary" list.

According to NFLPA base salary information, the Washington Redskins are now paying practice squad offensive tackle Tom Compton, a 2012 sixth-round pick out of South Dakota, as if he were on the 53-man roster. Compton had been earning $5,700 per week before the club increased that to $22,941 per week in mid-October. Last week, the San Francisco 49ers increased the practice squad salary of practice squad offensive tackle Al Netter, paying him the $22,941 he'd earn as if he were on the 53-man roster. Undrafted out of Northwestern, the 49ers gave Netter a $7,500 signing bonus on May 2.

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