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ESPN: Diana Taurasi’s 2015 contract incentive among the craziest in sports

Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi shoots as Connecticut Sun's Kelly Faris, left, defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Bonuses come in all shapes and forms and for a variety of reasons, and the sports world is no different.

Take the one Eddie Lacy just received as an example. The former Green Bay Packers running back who is in his first season with the Seattle Seahawks earned $55,000 Monday simply by weighing in at 250 pounds or less.

The $55,000 is part of a seven-level incentive program in place to try and get Lacy at a healthy playing weight for 2017, and seems like a nice amount of compensation for being in shape to play a sport.

Lacy’s incentive caused ESPN’s Kevin Seifert to take a look at some other interesting contract clauses, and one that he remembered belonged to the Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi.

Taurasi, one of the best players in the league’s 21-year history, received a unique offer in 2015 from UMMC Yekaterinburg in Russia: Sign, skip the Phoenix Mercury’s upcoming season and receive an extra $200,000 (and possibly more). Taurasi had long played overseas during the WNBA offseason, capitalizing on the high demand and more lucrative salaries for women’s basketball players around the world. The maximum she could have earned with the Mercury that season was about $110,000, so she in essence doubled her salary by cutting her yearly workload in half. Taurasi, 33 at the time, returned to the Mercury in 2016.

Taurasi is one of the best players in WNBA history, as the three-time champion recently set the three-point record and is just 29 points away from becoming the league’s all-time scoring leader.

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