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The 50 highest-earning American athletes

  • 21
    Carmelo Anthony

    Carmelo Anthony

    New York Knicks (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 25
    1. $17,149,243
    2. $6,000,000
    3. $23,149,243

    The Knicks are predictably top-heavy on salary again, but a combined $51 million for 'Melo, Amar'e and Chauncy Billups next season is better than $54 million for McGrady, Marbury and Curry in 2009-10.

  • 22
    Derek Jeter

    Derek Jeter

    New York Yankees (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 8
    1. $13,000,000
    2. $10,000,000
    3. $23,000,000

    There are mansions ... and then there's St. Jetersburg. The Yankee captain dropped $7 million just for the land to build his near-31,000-square foot, seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom home in Tampa.

  • 23
    Mark Teixeira

    Mark Teixeira

    New York Yankees (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 35
    1. $22,500,000
    2. $250,000
    3. $22,750,000

    Big Tex had so much trouble unloading his Dallas mansion since leaving Rangers in '07, he opted simply to rent it for $15,000 per month. His tenant? New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.

  • 24
    Tim Duncan

    Tim Duncan

    San Antonio Spurs (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 16
    1. $18,835,381
    2. $3,500,000
    3. $22,335,381

    Duncan has a $21.3 million player option for next season, the final year of his contract. The other members of the Spurs' Big Three, Manu Ginóbili and Tony Parker, received extensions in 2010.

  • 25
    Ryan Howard

    Ryan Howard

    Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 34
    1. $20,000,000
    2. $1,500,000
    3. $21,500,000

    The Phillies' slugger is roughly seven years from breaking Mike Schmidt's franchise home-run mark of 548. Howard earns more this season alone than Schmidt did during his entire 18-year career.

  • 26
    Albert Pujols

    Albert Pujols

    St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 32
    1. $13,000,000
    2. $8,000,000
    3. $21,000,000

    The slugger is a hit with Chicago GMs. His bear hug with Cubs' Jim Hendry caused a stir, while White Sox' Kenny Williams says he hopes Pujols gets $30 million a year to "restore sanity" to baseball.

  • 27
    Vince Carter

    Vince Carter

    Phoenix Suns (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 31
    1. $17,522,375
    2. $3,000,000
    3. $20,522,375

    The former Slam Dunk champ will almost certainly have a new address come fall. The Suns have an $18 million option to bring Carter back next season ... or buy out their pricey role player for $4 million.

  • 28
    Carl Crawford

    Carl Crawford

    Boston Red Sox (MLB)

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

    Talk about a nice monthly allowance. Crawford's seven-year, $142 million deal signed in December includes $6 million signing bonus paid out in $1 million increments over the course of the season.

  • 29
    Rashard Lewis

    Rashard Lewis

    Washington Wizards (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 46
    1. $19,573,711
    2. $750,000
    3. $20,323,711

    If a new CBA includes "Allan Houston" amnesty clause to cut a high-earner, here's your first target: Lewis averaged 13 points over the past two seasons; he's due up to $44 million over next two.

  • 30
    Roy Halladay

    Roy Halladay

    Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)

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

    Following his perfect game last May, Halladay bought some 60 Swiss-made Baumé & Mercier watches (around $4,000 each) and gave them to everyone in Phillies clubhouse -- bat boys included.

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. Formula One estimates are from Formula Money. Salaries based on current or most recently completed seasons (exception: 2011 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (golf, auto racing, tennis), 2010 calendar year amounts used. Boxing purses are from June 2010 to May 2011.

 
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