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31
Shawn Marion
Toronto Raptors (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 36
$17,180,000
$600,000
$17,780,000

The Matrix picked a bad year for one of his worst seasons statistically. A free agent, he'll be hard-pressed to find a deal near the $79 million one he inked in '02 while with Phoenix.

32
Amar'e Stoudemire
Phoenix Suns (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 48
$15,070,550
$2,500,000
$17,570,550

Amar'e may be moving this offseason, but not as far as last summer when he traveled to Sierra Leone and donated money towards improving wells and drinking water in the African nation.

33
Matt Schaub
Houston Texans (NFL)
Last Year's Rank: NR
$17,000,000
$300,000
$17,300,000

The Texans are on the hook to pay their QB a $10 million option bonus at any time between now and Super Bowl XLIV. That's on top of the $7 million base salary he'll earn in '09.

34
(Tie)
David Ortiz
Boston Red Sox (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: NR
$12,500,000
$4,500,000
$17,000,000

Big Papi, now a U.S. citizen, hosted a charity golf event in his native Dominican Republic last December that guest-starred his Sox teammates and Boston icons Bobby Orr and John Havlicek.

34
(Tie)
Albert Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: 41 (tie)
$13,000,000
$4,000,000
$17,000,000

Cards were geniuses for locking their star up for a modest $100 million in '04. They won't be so lucky after the deal expires in 2011. Pujols will command far more than $13 million a year.

36
Julius Peppers
Carolina Panthers (NFL)
Last Year's Rank: NR
$16,700,000
$150,000
$16,850,000

The four-time Pro-Bowl DE didn't get his wish to move to a team with a 3-4 defense, but this isnít a bad consolation prize: His one-year deal gives him the highest salary in the NFL.

37
(Tie)
Todd Helton
Colorado Rockies (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: 37
$16,600,000
$150,000
$16,750,000

With Matt Holliday's hefty $13.5 million paycheck shipped off to Oakland last November, Helton's $16.6 million salary this season is more than what the entire Rockies starting lineup earns.

37
(Tie)
A.J. Burnett
New York Yankees (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: NR
$16,500,000
$250,000
$16,750,000

Burnett and CC Sabathia's combined $39.5 million salary in '09 accounts for 78 percent of the entire Yankees rotation's pay. And they're the only ones signed past this season.

39
Ryan Howard
Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: NR
$15,000,000
$1,500,000
$16,500,000

The Phils scored with a three-year, $54 million deal for the '06 NL MVP. Howard was asking for $18 million in arbitration, up $8 million from the record-setting amount he won last year.

40
Dwight Freeney
Indianapolis Colts (NFL)
Last Year's Rank: NR
$16,220,000
$250,000
$16,470,000

Indianapolis exercised a $15 million option bonus on its four-time Pro Bowl DE last year, most of which was deferred until this past March. That's on top of his $6.2 million base salary in '09.

1 2 3 4 5
Sources: Salaries, winnings and bonus figures from players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Endorsement estimates from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salaries based on current or most recently completed seasons (exception: 2009 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (auto racing, golf, tennis), 2008 calendar year amounts used.
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