25 Highest Paid Athletes List: No Players From The Big Four Sports Until #8
Floyd Mayweather destroyed Manny Pacquiao as well as every other athlete in the world when it came to getting paid this year. We’re not even mid-way through the year and the boxer has already earned a ridiculous $250 million thanks to his epic payday from his May 2nd bout with Pacquiao, who was #2 on the list with $150 million. If you exclude Pacquiao, Mayweather nearly made the same as the #3 through #8 ranked athletes COMBINED.
After the boxers, soccer players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo make a an insane $50 million a year. A pair of Formula One drivers are next, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, earned $50 million and $40 million respectively in 2015.
Europe continues to dominate the list with France’s Ligue 1 Paris Saint-Germain paying Zlatan Ibrahimovic $35.1M. Another Formula One driver comes in at #8 with Lewis Hamilton.
You finally get to a player of the American Big Four sports with Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw, who is tied for the eighth spot with his robust $31 million salary. Fellow Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander rounds out the top ten and will make $28 million this year, despite not making one pitch yet due to a triceps injury.
Here’s how ESPN came up with their financial figures:
Figures are annual gross salaries from current or most recent season, and 2015 prize money where applicable. Endorsements, appearance fees, sponsorships or other external income are not included. Salaries based on exchange rate at time of contract signing.
Despite the Philadelphia Phillies having 3 players in the top 20, it hasn’t equated to much winning because of older players like Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels making a combined $73.5 million.
The first NBA player comes in tied for #20 with Kobe Bryant getting paid $23.5 million. Though the NFL is widely regarded as the most financially healthy American sport, they don’t have a representative in the top 25. Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden was the NFL’s highest paid player at $22,978,193. There was also no NHL players on the list, Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber was hockey’s top earner with a salary of $14 million.
Rounding out the list is a whole bunch of overpaid NYC athletes including former New York Knick Amar’e Stoudemire raking in $23.4M, Brooklyn Nets closer Joe Johnson at $23.2M, Yankees Gold Glove first baseman Mark Teixeira with a $23.1M salary, Joe Mauer is being paid $23M by the Minnesota Twins to hit singles and #25 is CC Sabathia with his $23M salary and his 2-5 record for the New York Yankees.
Money doesn’t buy championships and apparently good players when you sign them to long-term contracts well past their primes.