In the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, there is a little known concept called the Player Performance Pool (PPP) that provides bonuses to younger players who "outplay" their contracts. Each team sets aside $3 million of their salary cap for these equalization bonuses. The PPP is distributed based on the number of plays a player is in and their overall contract for the year. The more a player plays, the higher their allocation can grow.
The PPP was a way for players who do not make the big money to gain an extra 100-, 200-, or 300- thousand dollars in a season biased on their play. This could almost double the salary of a player such as Victor Cruz of the NY Giants, who essentially was playing for a minimum contract although being a Pro Bowl performer.
Well, in order to allow teams to spend more on high end players, the NFLPA agreed to suspend the PPP for the next two seasons. So, the union that is supposedly looking out for the "little guys" essentially threw them under the bus so that the super stars can make a couple million more. It's a shame as the PPP was one of the best inventions in all of pro sports.