Saints’ de la Puente, Quddus earn performance-based pay

Two Saints were among the top players receiving bonus checks from the NFL’s performance-based pay program for 2012, it was announced Wednesday at the owners meetings.

Center Brian de la Puente, who started all 16 regular-season games, received $289,373 and ranked third among the top 25 players collecting a bonus, while reserve safety Isa Abdul-Quddus was 25th with $233,063.

As an exclusive rights free agent last season, de la Puente, who recently was tendered as a restricted free agent at $2.023 million for this season, earned a base salary of $540,000 last year. Abdul-Quddus’ base pay was $465,000.

Under the system, a fund is created and used as a supplemental form of player compensation to reward players with high playing-time percentages and low cap numbers.

Performance-based pay is computed by using a “player index.”