List of largest sports contracts


List of largest sports contracts

The following is a list of the largest sports contracts. These figures include signing bonuses but exclude options, buyouts, and endorsement deals. This list does not reflect the highest annual salaries or career earnings, only the largest contracts and thus is limited to athletes in team sports and auto racing. Athletes in individual sports, such as golf, tennis, and boxing are not employed by a team and usually earn money primarily through event winnings. This list also does not necessarily reflect actual money collected by the athletes, since some contracts are eventually terminated (usually due to an athlete either retiring or invoking his opt-out clause). Included in this list are contracts totaling at least $100 million USD.

Contents

Largest sports contracts

Rank Player Team Sport Length of contract Contract value (USD) Average per year (USD) Average per game5 (USD) Ref
01 Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees Baseball 10 years (2008-2017) $275,000,000 $27,500,000 $169,753.09 [1]
02 Alex Rodriguez1 Texas Rangers Baseball 10 years (2001-2010) $249,000,000 $25,200,000 $155,555.56 [2]
03 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Auto racing 05 years (2011-2016) $214,000,000 $42,800,000 $2,183,673.46 [3]
04 Derek Jeter New York Yankees Baseball 10 years (2001-2010) $189,000,000 $18,900,000 $116,666.67 [4]
05 Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins Baseball 08 years (2011-2018) $184,000,000 $23,000,000 $141,975.31 [5]
06 Mark Teixeira New York Yankees Baseball 08 years (2009-2016) $180,000,000 $22,500,000 $138,888.89 [6]
07 CC Sabathia New York Yankees Baseball 07 years (2009-2015) $161,000,000 $23,000,000 $141,975.31 [7]
08 (tie) Manny Ramírez Boston Red Sox* Baseball 08 years (2001-2008) $160,000,000 $20,000,000 $123,456.79 [8]
08 (tie) Fernando Alonso2 McLaren* Auto racing 04 years (2007-2010) $160,000,000 $40,000,000 $2,352,941.17 [9]
10 Troy Tulowitzki Colorado Rockies Baseball 10 years (2011-2020) $157,750,000 $15,775,000 $97,376.54 [10]
11 Adrián González Boston Red Sox Baseball 07 years (2012-2018) $154,000,000 $22,000,000 $135,802.67 [11]
12 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari Auto racing 03 years (2007-2009) $153,000,000 $51,000,000 $2,942,307.69 [12]
13 Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers Baseball 08 years (2008-2015) $152,300,000 $19,037,500 $117,515.43 [13]
14 Todd Helton Colorado Rockies Baseball 11 years (2001-2011) $151,500,000 $13,772,727 $85,016.83 [14]
15 Carl Crawford Boston Red Sox Baseball 07 years (2011-2017) $142,000,000 $20,285,714 $125,220.46 [15]
16 Johan Santana New York Mets Baseball 06 years (2008-2013) $137,500,000 $22,916,667 $141,460.91 [16]
17 Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Basketball 07 years (2004-2011) $136,400,000 $19,485,714 $237,630.66 [17]
18 Alfonso Soriano Chicago Cubs Baseball 08 years (2007-2014) $136,000,000 $17,000,000 $104,938.27 [18]
19 Michael Vick3 Atlanta Falcons* American football 10 years (2005-2014) $130,000,000 $13,000,000 $812,500.00 [19]
20 Jermaine O'Neal Indiana Pacers* Basketball 07 years (2003-2010) $126,558,000 $18,079,714 $220,484.32 [20]
21 (tie) Kevin Garnett Minnesota Timberwolves* Basketball 06 years (1999-2005) $126,000,000 $21,000,000 $256,097.56 [21]
21 (tie) Barry Zito San Francisco Giants Baseball 07 years (2007-2013) $126,000,000 $18,000,000 $111,111.11 [22]
21 (tie) Vernon Wells Toronto Blue Jays* Baseball 07 years (2008-2014) $126,000,000 $18,000,000 $111,111.11 [23]
21 (tie) Rashard Lewis Orlando Magic* Basketball 06 years (2007-2013) $126,000,000 $21,000,000 $256,097.56 [24]
21 (tie) Jayson Werth Washington Nationals Baseball 07 years (2011-2017) $126,000,000 $18,000,000 $111,111.11 [25]
26 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies Baseball 05 years (2013-2017) $125,000,000 $25,000,000 $154,320.99 [26]
27 (tie) Michael Schumacher Ferrari Auto racing 04 years (1996-1999) $124,000,000 $31,000,000 $1,907,692.30 [27]
27 (tie) Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals Ice hockey 13 years (2008-2021) $124,000,000 $9,538,461 $116,322.70 [28]
29 Chris Webber Sacramento Kings* Basketball 07 years (2001-2007) $122,718,750 $17,531,250 $213,795.73 [29]
30 Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs Basketball 07 years (2003-2010) $122,007,704 $17,429,672 $212,556.98 [30]
31 Mike Hampton Colorado Rockies* Baseball 08 years (2001-2008) $121,000,000 $15,125,000 $93,364.20 [31]
32 (tie) Shaquille O'Neal Los Angeles Lakers* Basketball 07 years (1996-2003) $120,000,000 $17,142,857 $209,059.23 [32]
32 (tie) Jason Giambi New York Yankees* Baseball 07 years (2002-2008) $120,000,000 $17,142,857 $105,820.10 [33]
32 (tie) Matt Holliday St. Louis Cardinals Baseball 07 years (2010-2016) $120,000,000 $17,142,857 $105,820.10 [34]
32 (tie) Cliff Lee Philadelphia Phillies Baseball 05 years (2011-2016) $120,000,000 $24,000,000 $148,148.15 [35]
32 (tie) Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals American Football 08 years (2011-2018) $120,000,000 $15,000,000 $937,500.00 [36]
37 Carson Palmer Cincinnati Bengals* American football 09 years (2006-2014) $119,750,000 $13,305,555 $831,597.19 [37]
38 Carlos Beltrán New York Mets* Baseball 07 years (2005-2011) $119,000,000 $17,000,000 $104,938.27 [38]
39 Ken Griffey, Jr. Cincinnati Reds* Baseball 09 years (2000-2008) $116,500,000 $12,944,444 $79,903.98 [39]
40 Donovan McNabb Philadelphia Eagles* American football 12 years (2002-2013) $115,000,000 $9,583,333 $598,958.31 [40]
41 Gilbert Arenas Washington Wizards* Basketball 06 Years (2008-2013) $111,000,000 $18,500,000 $225,609.76 [41]
42 LeBron James Miami Heat Basketball 06 years (2010-2016) $109,837,500 $18,306,250 $223,246.95 [42]
43 Kevin BrownR Los Angeles Dodgers* Baseball 07 years (1999-2005) $105,000,000 $15,000,000 $92,592.59 [43]
44 Jason Kidd New Jersey Nets* Basketball 06 years (2003-2009) $103,572,000 $17,262,000 $210,512.20 [44]
45 Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers American Football 08 years (2008-2015) $102,000,000 $12,750,000 $796,875.00 [45]
46 (tie) Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals Baseball 07 years (2004-2010) $100,000,000 $14,285,714 $88,183.42 [46]
46 (tie) Carlos Lee Houston Astros Baseball 06 years (2007-2012) $100,000,000 $16,666,666 $102,880.65 [47]
46 (tie) Shaquille O'Neal Miami Heat* Basketball 05 years (2005-2010) $100,000,000 $20,000,000 $243,902.44 [48]
46 (tie) Brett Favre4 Green Bay Packers* American Football 10 years (2001-2010) $100,000,000 $10,000,000 $625,000.00 [49]
46 (tie) Albert Haynesworth Washington Redskins* American Football 07 years (2009-2016) $100,000,000 $14,285,714 $892,857.13 [50]
46 (tie) Ilya Kovalchuk New Jersey Devils Ice Hockey 15 years (2010-2025) $100,000,000 $6,666,667 $81,300.81 [51]
46 (tie) Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles American Football 06 years (2011-2016) $100,000,000 $16,666,667 $1,041,667.00 [52]

1 - Rodriguez opted out of this contract after the 2007 season
2 - Alonso opted out of this contract after the 2007 season
3 - Vick's contract was terminated by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 season
4 - Favre was traded by the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets after the 2008 season. He was unconditionally released from his contract by the Jets after the 2009 season.
5 - Based on regular season games only (excludes any playoff games), also in baseball, starting pitchers usually pitch every five games, resting during the interval between starts.
R - retired
* - no longer on team
‡ - entirety of contract salary not guaranteed

Notes

  • Contracts in the NFL are often not guaranteed, meaning that players who retire, or who are cut, do not receive their contracted salaries after their release from the team.
  • NBA and NHL seasons span two calendar years.
  • Michael Vick was suspended by the NFL in 2007. The Atlanta Falcons were unsuccessful in a civil legal process to attempt to recoup $20 million of the $100 million in bonuses paid to Vick under terms of his contract extension.
  • During his contract years, Michael Schumacher had significantly higher annual earnings than the athletes on this list with larger total contracts. On top of his $31 million per year paid by the Ferrari team, which alone ranked as the highest annual earnings at the time, he also earned a significant amount more per year from race winnings.
  • David Beckham signed a 5-year deal with MLS soccer team Los Angeles Galaxy that was worth a reported $251 million,[1] but that figure included commercial endorsements; only $5 million a year of that figure is salary from the club, while the rest will come via existing endorsements and profit sharing with the club.[2][3][4]
  • Lewis Hamilton signed a contract with McLaren Mercedes worth at least ₤70 million ($138 million USD) over 5 seasons (2008-2012). However, no official contract details have been released by the team.[5]
  • In 2010, the NHL rejected a 17-year, $102 million contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk, saying that the contract was "a circumvention of the collective bargaining agreement." The later years of the contract would have paid Kovalchuk only $550,000 per year, which lowered the average value per year of the contract. (The NHL's salary cap is based on the average value per year.) [6]

References

See also


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