LTBE & NLTBE…how it affects the Houston Texans

The Houston Texans have a history of incorporating “per active game” roster bonus money into their player contracts.  This designation provides the team insurance should a player become injured and miss some games.  Essentially this roster bonus is paid on a weekly basis every week the player is on the 46 man game day roster.  Houston has 10 player contracts that use the per game roster bonus designation for the 2015 season.

The per game roster bonus is considered (in terms of the CBA) to be an incentive.  An incentive is classified as either Likely To Be Earned (LTBE) or Not Likely To Be Earned (NLTBE); an incentive is likely to be earned if the player achieved it in the prior season.  For the per game roster bonus you refer to the player’s number of active games the prior season, for this we will refer to the 2014 season.  An example would be if a player was active for 13 games in 2014, then his LTBE bonus for 2015 would be based on 13 games.  The last 3 games are considered to be NLTBE.  Generally if a player achieves the NLTBE portion of his incentive bonus, the team would receive a negative adjustment to their salary cap for the following season.  Per game roster bonus is calculated differently.  If the player reaches the NLTBE portion of his respective roster bonus, then the bonus is charged to the salary cap immediately.  The team must keep available salary cap space to accommodate any NLTBE roster bonus achieved for per game bonus.  We will examine the 8 players that have the per game roster bonus in their respective contracts that were not active for 16 games in 2014.  Tyson Clabo & Demarius Johnson have this bonus in their contract, but both were active for 16 games during the 2014 season.

Player 2014 Games Active Per Game Bonus 2015 Roster Bonus NLTBE Bonus
Arian Foster 13 $31,250 $406,250 $93,750
Brian Cushing 14 $78,125 $1,093,750 $156,250
Kareem Jackson 13 $15,625 $203,125 $46,875
Brian Hoyer 15 $31,250 $468,750 $31,250
Garrett Graham 11 $15,625 $171,875 $78,125
Ryan Mallett 11 $62,500 $687,500 $312,500
Cecil Shorts III 13 $15,625 $203,125 $46,875
Will Yeatman 0 $18,750 $0 $300,000
Totals $1,065,625

This table shows how number of games active in 2014, per game roster bonus pay, current LTBE 2015 roster bonus, and additional NLTBE 2015 roster bonus.  The salary cap charge for each player will start to increase on a weekly basis once they have reached the NLTBE portion of their incentive.

If all 8 players were to be active for 16 games in the 2015 season Houston would need to keep an additional $1,065,625 available in cap space to account for this NLTBE bonus.  Given the injury history of these specific players, it is probably unlikely that all 8 would be active for every game in the 2015 season.  However this is something that will need to be monitored.


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