The Steelers 7th round pick in the 2012 Draft Kelvin Beachum is somewhat of a cult hero. After being a LT in college, Beachum in his first seeason and a half played all over the shop for the Steelers at guard, center and tackle.
After his rookie season, he looked like a fantastic 7th round pick, one who could provide quality depth at every position along the offensive line.e
However, the benching of failing left tackle Mike Adams gave Beachum the chance to shine, and he took his starting role at the left tackle spot in stride. He helped solidify an offensive line that was truly in disarray, and thanks to the implementation of the no-huddle and the improvement of the offensive live ,The Steelers offense really took off in the last half of the season.
To reward him for his efforts, and dramitcally inreased playing time, Beachum will earn an extra $236,667 thanks Performance-Based Pay programme implemented in the 2002 collective bargaining agreement.
The Performance-Based Pay for each player is decided by using a "player index" and some form of calculation to arrive at the right amount. Here is an expanation from the "Steelers 101" website.
To produce the index, a player’s regular-season playtime (total plays on offense, defense and special teams) is divided by his adjusted regular-season compensation (full season salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives). Once this is accomplished, that index is compared to teammates and a final salary determination is made.
I think, long story short, if a player plays more than is expected and isn't getting paid very much (which is true for most any contributing player on a rookie contract) their entitled to extra money. Seems pretty fair all round.
Beachum, barring any free agency or draft surprises, is currently entrenched as the starting left tackle for the Steelers heading into training camp.