WVU fans knew the Bears were getting a hard-worker in Nick Kwiatkoski in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Thanks to a rule for players drafted after the third round, Kwiatkoski earned a significant pay raise for next season.
He enters the last year of his rookie contract in 2019 and because he meets the qualifications for the Proven Player Escalator, his salary will more than double what it would have been.
Per Over the Cap, to qualify for the Proven Player Escalator, a player must:
The PPE is a fourth-year salary escalator that can be earned by participating in either 35% of a team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or in 35% of all offensive or defensive snaps over his entire first three years. Players eligible for the PPE will see their fourth year base salary escalate to the lowest restricted free agent (RFA) tender for that season.
Despite only playing in 10% of the Bears defensive snaps last season, because he played so much in his first two seasons, Kwiatkoski qualifies for the pay increase.
His projected pay will be $2,035,000 next season. A raise of $1,315,000.
There’s a caveat to that, however. The raise means that the Bears likely can’t afford to keep Kwiatkoski. So look for him to be given his walking papers or traded in the offseason.