Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes in Professional Sports

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Highest-paid athletes

Some people make a lot of money. Like, so much money the rest of us peons can’t even fathom how much money that is. Aside from being a celebrity, it seems like sports is the place to be if you want to be so rich that you can swim in a pool full of money.

According to a recent article, the highest paid employee at most public colleges is not the college president, but some type of sports coach. Most coach football, although some coach basketball, and one highest paid coach does hockey. Many earn in the low millions (as if "low millions" is a thing anyone would pass up).

But their salaries sort of pale in comparison when it comes to what professional sports players make. Sports Illustrated released a list of the top 50 best paid athletes... and they make so much. They could probably buy an island. For their pet giraffe. And that pet giraffe could have a pet monkey. And that pet money of the pet giraffe has its own island, too.

Here are the top 10 paid athletes according to that list0. (For the full list, click here.)

10. Zack Greinke, $29,020,000: Greinke, who is 29, plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers and, for that alone, makes $29 million. He also makes $20,000 in endorsements. The Dodgers tend to have the highest payroll in all of the majors, with four of their players on the list. Greinke's contract was at one point the biggest ever for a right-handed pitcher, with a six-year, $147 million deal.

9. Alex Rodriguez, $29,900,000: A New York Yankees player, Rodriguez is the highest-paid player in baseball. His $257 million deal extends through 2017, so he's pretty much set for life. A-Rod also has almost $1 million in endorsement deals, and will get an additional $6 million if he reaches 660 home runs.

8. Peyton Manning, $31,000,000: With endorsement deals that almost match his salary, it's no wonder Denver Broncos player Peyton Manning is among the best paid. He is football's biggest endorser, earning a whopping $13 million. That, added to his $18 million salary, makes him the number 8 highest paid. Last year, he was named number 7, but somehow I think the $31 million will get him through.

7. Derrick Rose, $33,403,000: Chicago Bulls player Derrick Rose actually earns more in endorsements than he does in salary, a fact many of the top paid players have in common. Rose's endorsement deals surpass his salary by half a million dollars, much of that thanks to his lucrative $10 million dear with Adidas. (He makes $17 million in deals, total.) His $33+ million salary makes me a little depressed because we are the same age (24) and I will never have that much money. Do you think he does loans?

6. Phil Mickelson, $39,528,000: Okay, here's where endorsement deals start to get really good: Mickelson earns $36 million in them. Sans endorsements, he earns just over $3.5 million.

5. Tiger Woods, $40,839,027: Although Tiger Woods hit a bit of a rough patch over the last few years, he earned more than anyone on Tour over the last year. His Nike, EA, and Rolex deals are part of what give him an estimated $33 million in endorsements. (The Nike deal is a huge moneymaker.) Although Mickelson earns more in endorsements, Woods makes $7.8 million in winnings.

4. Kobe Bryant, $46,850,000: L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant has a contract with Nike that helps put his endorsements around $19 million. However, because his career is arguably slowing down, so, too, will his deals. But that's fine: he makes $27,850,000 a year.

3. Drew Brees, $47,800,000: Ranking among the top three best paid athletes is not a bad place to be. Drew Brees, a New Orleans Saint, makes a cool $40 million a year. He also got a ginormous $37 million signing bonus in 2012, and he has more than $7 in sponsorships.

2. LeBron James, $56,545,000: He's the second highest paid athlete with $39 million in endorsements, $17.5 million in salary. The Miami heat player has a Nike deal to thank (apparently Nike plays extremely well), but, when comparing salaries, James is considered an "underpaid" NBA star.

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr., $90,000,000: As the only boxer on this list, Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s salary nearly doubles that of the second highest-paid athlete. He has $0 in endorsements, but it doesn't matter because his May 4 fight with Robert Guerrero garnered him $32 million, with the pay-per-view giving him another $13 million. He's due for a similar payday in September, which will bump his salary to almost $100 million.


Some argue athlete (and celebrity) salaries are outrageous, while others think they're well-deserved since they are providing us all with entertainment. What do you think?

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Judy milne
Judy milne said...

I think these Are excessive salaries, over the top, even when you consider they may only work several years due to the physical stress of the sport.  We don't value scientists who create breakthroughs in medical treatments that kind of money.  Says a lot about our society.

September 1, 2013 at 6:00 PM