Steelers headache gets rewarded for playing frequently, even doing so poorly

Steelers left tackle Dan Moore Jr. may have struggled on the field, but he was the lone Pittsburgh player to receive additional compensation.

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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The league office released a list of the top 25 performance-based pay distributions for the 2023 NFL season in a memo on Monday. The performance-based pay program was implemented as part of the 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association. It has carried forward in each subsequent renegotiation.

Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Dan Moore Jr. may have struggled on the field, but he was the lone Pittsburgh player to receive additional compensation for his 2023 campaign.

Steelers LT Dan Moore receives compensation for high snap count

Moore was compensated with $740,319 by the league's performance-based pay distribution, which compensates players with high snap counts on low salaries. Moore played 951 offensive snaps (95 percent) for Pittsburgh during the 2023 season, but he only earned a base salary of $940,000 — tied for 108th among offensive tackles.

Moore ranked 23rd on the pay distributions list — one spot ahead of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.

The program uses a fund "created and used as a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary," according to the league. The distribution is computed by using a player's "PBP Playtime" divided by his "PBP Compensation." The "PBP Playtime" is defined as the player's total regular season plays divided by the number of plays by the player with the most plays on that team. The "PBP Compensation" is the player's salary, prorated signing bonus, and earned incentives.

Moore, a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, contributed to Pittsburgh's leaky offensive line during the 2023 season. Moore allowed 55 pressures during the regular season, second-most of any offensive lineman in the league. That translated to a pass-blocking grade of 39.7 by Pro Football Focus, which ranked as the sixth-worst in the league. Moore fared better in the ground game, earning a 60.4 run-blocking grade from PFF.

NFL players will receive $393.8 million in performance-based pay for their play in 2023. Baltimore Ravens offensive guard John Simpson, a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, was the highest-earning player with $974,613.

Moore’s bonus through the performance-based pay distributions will not count against Pittsburgh’s salary cap. The left tackle will have a salary cap hit of approximately $3.5 million for the 2024 season.

Steelers general manager Omar Khan made it clear during the NFL Scouting Combine that the Steelers hope their starter at left tackle will be Broderick Jones, Pittsburgh's first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, at left tackle.

Left guard Kevin Dotson and Moore were the only two Steelers players compensated last year. Dotson was seventh on the list, earning $746,013. Moore was ninth with $739,072.

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