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The 50 highest-earning American athletes

  • 11
    Matthew Stafford

    Matthew Stafford

    Detroit Lions (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $26,900,000
    2. $750,000
    3. $27,650,000

    Detroit pays out the Lions share this year of the guaranteed money in the deal it handed last year's No. 1 draft pick -- its second-year quarterback will get a combined $26.5 million in bonuses in 2010.

  • 12
    Dwight Howard

    Dwight Howard

    Orlando Magic (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 13
    1. $15,202,590
    2. $12,000,000
    3. $27,202,590

    No Finals return, but Superman has been busy with another cause: raising money for Haiti earthquake relief. He started his own fund and kicked in $100,000 targeted for kids in the ravaged nation.

  • 13
    (tie)
    CC Sabathia

    CC Sabathia

    New York Yankees (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 18
    1. $26,000,000
    2. $500,000
    3. $26,500,000

    The Yankees' ace paid $15 million in cash for his 12,000-square foot mansion in Bergen County, N.J., last year. His neighbors include Stevie Wonder, Chris Rock, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Mary J. Blige.

  • 13
    (tie)
    Eli Manning

    Eli Manning

    New York Giants (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: 43
    1. $19,500,000
    2. $7,000,000
    3. $26,500,000

    Eli recently released cash-strapped St. Vincent's Hospital from its multi-year endorsement deal with him; the Giants' quarterback continues to do pro bono work and fundraising for the Manhattan facility.

  • 15
    Kevin Garnett

    Kevin Garnett

    Boston Celtics (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 6
    1. $16,417,044
    2. $10,000,000
    3. $26,417,044

    Eat your Wheaties, play like KG? Garnett is part of a team of stars that includes Peyton Manning and Albert Pujols and reportedly helped engineer Wheaties FUEL, a cereal designed for athletes.

  • 16
    Dale Earnhardt Jr.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr.

    Auto Racing

    Last Year's Rank: 11
    1. $4,097,190
    2. $22,000,000
    3. $26,097,190

    Junior honored his late father by driving a retro No. 3 Wrangler car in July. T-shirts, die-cast cars and other merchandising have flown off the shelves already, with a projected $5 million in sales.

  • 17
    Philip Rivers

    Philip Rivers

    San Diego Chargers (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $25,600,000
    2. $250,000
    3. $25,850,000

    In March, the Chargers' quarterback collected $13 million of his $19.6 million signing bonus from the six-year, $92 million deal he inked last summer; he'll get another $6 million option bonus next February.

  • 18
    Tim Duncan

    Tim Duncan

    San Antonio Spurs (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 16
    1. $22,183,218
    2. $3,500,000
    3. $25,683,218

    The Spurs have paid Duncan more than $150 million over the last 13 years, and he's rewarded them by leading the franchise to four NBA titles since 1997. Will the 34-year-old Duncan finish his career in San Antonio? He's eligible to become a free agent after next season.

  • 19
    Terrell Suggs

    Terrell Suggs

    Baltimore Ravens (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $24,900,000
    2. $75,000
    3. $24,975,000

    Suggs collected a $23 million option bonus in March after perhaps the worst season of his career. "Rest assured," the linebacker told the Baltimore Sun, "it will never happen again."

  • 20
    Albert Haynesworth

    Albert Haynesworth

    Washington Redskins (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $24,600,000
    2. $150,000
    3. $24,750,000

    Haynesworth may not like the Redskins' switch to a 3-4, but his contract sure is lucrative -- he collects a $23 million bonus this year as part of the seven-year, $100 million deal he signed in February 2009.

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: 2010 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (golf, auto racing, tennis), 2009 calendar year amounts used. Boxing purses are from July '09 to June 2010.

 
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