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The 50 highest-earning American athletes

  • 31
    Vince Carter

    Vince Carter

    Orlando Magic (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 23
    1. $16,123,250
    2. $5,000,000
    3. $21,123,250

    Magic men Carter, Howard and Rashard Lewis will earn $54 million combined next season. That's $10 million more than Carter's last power trio -- with Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson -- in N.J. in '06-07.

  • 32
    Albert Pujols

    Albert Pujols

    St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 34 (tie)
    1. $13,000,000
    2. $8,000,000
    3. $21,000,000

    We'll see if Pujols is worth, as Bobby Cox suggested, $50 million a year. What is clear is that the Cardinals' slugger will become the second athlete in history to sign a second deal in excess of $100 million.

  • 33
    Jason Smith

    Jason Smith

    St. Louis Rams (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $20,570,000
    2. $75,000
    3. $20,645,000

    Like Stafford, the guy chosen over him in '09, No. 2 pick Smith opted to forgo a signing bonus in lieu of a giant payout in year two of his deal: $20.2 million in option and roster bonuses.

  • 34
    Ryan Howard

    Ryan Howard

    Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 39
    1. $19,000,000
    2. $1,500,000
    3. $20,500,000

    Howard's five-year, $125 million contract extension, which he signed in April, has the slugger locked up until at least 2016. At this point, he's the only player on Philly's books past the 2013 season.

  • 35
    Mark Teixeira

    Mark Teixeira

    New York Yankees (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 14
    1. $20,000,000
    2. $250,000
    3. $20,250,000

    Big Tex just can't get out of Texas. Former Ranger just dropped the asking price on his former mansion in Dallas to $4.6 million -- more than $1 million less than he was asking in November.

  • 36
    Julius Peppers

    Julius Peppers

    Chicago Bears (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: 36
    1. $20,000,000
    2. $75,000
    3. $20,075,000

    Peppers' six-year deal with the Bears guarantees him $40.5 million over the first three. Add last year's Carolina haul and that totals a $58 million bonanza by the '13 Super Bowl.

  • 37
    Ray Allen

    Ray Allen

    Boston Celtics (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 27
    1. $18,776,860
    2. $750,000
    3. $19,526,860

    Allen and wife, Shannon, have a bigger cause than a new contract (he signed a two-year extension with Boston): raising money for the Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation. Their 3-year-old son, Walker, was diagnosed with the disease in '08.

  • 38
    Vince Wilfork

    Vince Wilfork

    New England Patriots (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $18,900,000
    2. $75,000
    3. $18,975,000

    Normally spendthrift Patriots emptied the bank in March to retain their Pro Bowl nose tackle, signing him to a five-year, $40 million deal that included an $18 million signing bonus up front.

  • 39
    Barry Zito

    Barry Zito

    San Francisco Giants (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 26
    1. $18,500,000
    2. $100,000
    3. $18,600,000

    Maybe the Freak is rubbing off? Back-in-form Zito still owns his $9 million home in tony Marin County, but lives in a flat in San Francisco's Marina District -- not far from Tim Lincecum's condo.

  • 40
    DeAngelo Hall

    DeAngelo Hall

    Washington Redskins (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $18,500,000
    2. $75,000
    3. $18,575,000

    The cornerback's former team, Oakland, cut him a year before he was due to earn a combined $16.5 million in salary and bonuses. His 'Skins deal guarantees him that much in 2010.

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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