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Marcus Sherels Misses Out On Big Bonus

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The punt returner would have gotten $100,000 for leading the league in punt return average.

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
This return nearly gave Marcus Sherels an extra $100,000.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

I think we’ve all agreed that we’re going to stop pretending that Marcus Sherels’ job with the Vikings is going to be in danger anytime soon. Unfortunately, it turns out that Sherels was “thisclose” to picking up what would have been a nice little chunk of change to finish off his season, and had it snatched away at the last moment.

See, Sherels has a clause in his contract that would have given him an extra $100,000 if he led the NFL in punt return average in 2016. Following the Vikings’ 38-10 victory over the Chicago Bears, Sherels’ average was at 13.9 yards per return, collecting 292 yards on 31 returns during the season. When Sunday’s early games ended, Sherels was on top of the league in that category.

But, since this is the Vikings’ 2016 season, it wound up being too good to last.

Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie Tyreek Hill wound up snatching the top spot away from Sherels, thanks to a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the third quarter of Kansas City’s 37-27 win over the San Diego Chargers. That was the final punt that Hill returned on the afternoon. Thanks to that return, Hill finished the season with 592 yards on 39 returns for an average of 15.2 yards.

Without that return, Hill would have had an average of 13.1 yards/return, and Sherels would have held on to the top spot and collected his bonus.

Tough break for Marcus Sherels, to be certain. But, fear not. . .if we’ve learned anything over the past few years, he’s going to have an opportunity to lead the league in punt return average again next season as a member of the Vikings.