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The 50 highest-earning American athletes

  • 41
    A.J. Burnett

    A.J. Burnett

    New York Yankees (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 50
    1. $16,500,000
    2. $275,000
    3. $16,775,000

    Overlooked fact of all three of the Yanks' big '09 offseason acquisitions: Burnett, Sabathia, Teixeira are only Bombers signed to long-term deals with salaries that remain fixed through their expiration.

  • 42
    Jake Peavy

    Jake Peavy

    Chicago White Sox (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $16,500,000
    2. $125,000
    3. $16,625,000

    Nearly two years after the Padres shipped him to Chicago, the 2007 NL Cy Young winner still received a $500,000 reporting bonus from the White Sox related to the deal on top of his $16 million salary.

  • 43
    Joe Johnson

    Joe Johnson

    Atlanta Hawks (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $16,324,500
    2. $250,000
    3. $16,574,500

    With a six-year, $124 million deal, the Hawks made Johnson the top-paid free agent in last summer's loaded class, topping LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh and Amar'e Stoudemire.

  • 44
    Roy Oswalt

    Roy Oswalt

    Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $16,000,000
    2. $500,000
    3. $16,500,000

    The Phils are only on the hook for about $9 million of Oswalt's 2011 salary. His old team, the Astros, are paying the other $7 million as part of trade last summer that sent him to Philadelphia.

  • 45
    Elton Brand

    Elton Brand

    Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $15,959,099
    2. $500,000
    3. $16,459,099

    The much-maligned Brand and his equally unloved teammate Andre Iguodala are owed $63.5 million over the next two seasons. Will the Sixers find a taker for either one in a trade?

  • 46
    Josh Beckett

    Josh Beckett

    Boston Red Sox (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 43
    1. $15,750,000
    2. $400,000
    3. $16,150,000

    Maybe athletes aren't rocket scientists -- but they can marry one. The Red Sox's $68 million man reportedly popped question to high school sweetheart Holly Fisher, an aerospace engineer, in February.

  • 47
    Eli Manning

    Eli Manning

    New York Giants (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: T-13
    1. $9,000,000
    2. $7,000,000
    3. $16,000,000

    Eli threw a pass back to his alma mater, the University of Mississippi, last July with a $1 million donation for an academic scholarship plan. Ole Miss had raised its tuition rates by 6.5 percent.

  • 48
    Prince Fielder

    Prince Fielder

    Milwaukee Brewers (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $15,500,000
    2. $250,000
    3. $15,750,000

    Fielder's one-year, $15.5 million deal with Brewers helped avoid arbitration, but he'll be looking for more next winter -- especially given teammate Ryan Braun's five-year, $105 million extension.

  • 49
    Paul Pierce

    Paul Pierce

    Boston Celtics (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 27
    1. $13,876,321
    2. $1,800,000
    3. $15,676,321

    Celtics GM Danny Ainge will be busy next summer: Pierce and Rajon Rondo are the only players inked beyond 2011-12, and the former will be 36 when his $61 million extension expires in 2014.

  • 50
    Chris Bosh

    Chris Bosh

    Miami Heat (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $14,500,000
    2. $1,000,000
    3. $15,500,000

    Bosh and LeBron signed identical six-year, $110 million deals to join Dwyane Wade in South Beach. All three have player options for 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons that total out at $127 million.

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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