Some of the Highest Single-Game Paychecks in Sports

Rucuss staffOctober 12, 2011

It’s no secret that professional athletes get paid a lot of money.

Star players usually make more than the coaches and a few players’ salaries combined. InvestmentAnswers.com has put together a list of some of the highest single-game salaries by athletes. Check it out:

Tom Brady — $1.125 Million per Game

Sports League: National Football League (NFL)

Team: New England Patriots

Position: Quarterback

Current Contract: 4 years (2010-2014), $72 million

Games per Season: 16

Paycheck per Game: $1,125,000

On September 10, 2010, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady signed a four-year, $72 million contract, which keeps him in Boston through the 2014 season. With 16 regular season games a year, and not counting endorsements, Brady is making a cool $1.125 million per 60 minutes of American football.

Until this year’s free agency signings, Brady’s lucrative contract made him the highest-paid football player in NFL history. As a three-time Super Bowl winner, multiple NFL-record holder and the darling of the NFL, any Patriots fan will tell you that Brady is worth every dollar the franchise is paying him.

Peyton Manning — $1.125 Million per Game

Sports League: National Football League (NFL)

Team: Indianapolis Colts

Position: Quarterback

Current Contract: 5 years (2011-2015), $90 million

Games per Season: 16

Paycheck per Game: $1,125,000

It’s good to be Peyton right now. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is arguably the best  player in professional football today. The son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning holds numerous passing records, MVPs, awards and one Super Bowl ring.

In 2011, Manning voluntarily turned down the biggest contract offer in the history of football in order to allow his team to sign more free agents. What Manning finally inked was still good enough to tie for first place on our list — a five-year contract worth a staggering $90 million.

Ben Roethlisberger — $796,875 per Game

Sports League: National Football League (NFL)

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Position: Quarterback

Current Contract: 8 years (2008-2015), $102 million

Games per Season: 16

Paycheck per Game: $796,875

With two Super Bowl rings on his finger, Ben Roethlisberger inked an eight-year, $102 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 4th, 2008. He is the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl — at age 23 — and is considered one of the most efficient passers in NFL history.

Champ Bailey — $671,875 per Game

Sports League: National Football League (NFL)

Team: Denver Broncos

Position: Cornerback

Current Contract: 4 years (2011-2014), $43 million

Games per Season: 16

Paycheck per Game: $671,875

Champ Bailey is regarded as one of the most versatile, multi-threat defenders in the game of football today. His team, the Denver Broncos, scooped him up with a four-year, $43 million contract before he could hit the free agency market this offseason.

Nnambi Asomugha — $750,000 per Game 

Sports League: National Football League (NFL)

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Position: Cornerback

Current Contract: 5 years (2011-2015), $60 million

Games per Season: 16

Paycheck per Game: $750,000

On July 29th, 2011, Asomugha signed a five-year, $60 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Asomugha was recently named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team and is considered one of the best cornerbacks currently playing in the NFL.

Kevin Kolb — $787,000 per Game

Sports League: National Football League (NFL)

Team: Arizona Cardinals

Position: Quarterback

Current Contract: 5 years (2011-2015), $63 million

Games per Season: 16

Paycheck per Game: $787,500

Despite only starting two games last year due to injury, Kevin Kolb was a huge winner in this year’s NFL free agency frenzy.

In desperate need of a quarterback, the Arizona Cardinals inked Kolb for a five-year, $63 million contract, locking him up through the 2015 season.

Sam Bradford — $812,500 per Game

Sports League: National Football League (NFL)

Team: St. Louis Rams

Position: Quarterback

Current Contract: 6 years (2010-2015), $78 million

Games per Season: 16

Paycheck per Game: $812,500

On July 30th, 2010, No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, Sam Bradford, signed a six-year, $78 million contract with the St. Louis Rams, making him the highest-paid rookie in NFL history.

As the NFL’s 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Sam Bradford took every offensive snap behind center, passed for over 3,000 yards and led his team within one game of the playoffs.

Ndamukong Suh — $850,000 per Game

Sports League: National Football League (NFL)

Team: Detriot Lions

Position: Defensive Tackle

Current Contract: 5 years (2010-2014), $68 million

Games per Season: 16

Paycheck per Game: $850,000

Suh was selected second overall in the 2010 NFL draft, just behind Sam Bradford, and signed a five-year, $68 million contract with the Detriot Lions.

While this is a hefty paycheck for a defensive tackle, Suh earned every penny, making the All-Pro Team his rookie year and being named the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Joe Mauer — $141,975 per Game

Sports League: Major League Baseball (MLB)

Team: Minnesota Twins

Position: Catcher

Current Contract: 8 years (2011-2018), $184 million

Games per Season: 162

Paycheck per Game: $141,975

As the only catcher in the history of Major League Baseball to win three batting titles, Joe Mauer has certainly earned his daily paycheck. In fact, Mauer could have been higher on this list had he taken the football scholarship offered him from Florida State and turned it into a professional football career.

Instead, Mauer is an MVP-caliber catcher for the Minnesota Twins with an eight-year, $184 million contract.

Thierry Henry — $164,706 per Game

Sports League: Major League Soccer (MLS)

Team: New York Red Bulls

Position: Wing

Current Contract: 4.5 years (2010-2014), $25.2 million

Games per Season: 34

Paycheck per Game: $164,706

Yet another big name joined the MLS this past off-season when the New York Red Bulls signed Thierry Henry, the famous French soccer player.

While he may no longer be among the world’s elite, a paycheck reported to total $5.6 million per season definitely makes Henry one of the world’s richest soccer players.

Alex Rodriguez — $169,753 per Game

Sports League: Major League Baseball (MLB)

Team: New York Yankees

Position: Third Baseman

Current Contract: 10 years (2008-2017), $275 million

Games per Season: 162

Paycheck per Game: $169,753

As one of the biggest sluggers in baseball, All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez is best known for helping lead his New York Yankees to the 2009 World Series title. He is also currently 6th in most career home runs, one of the most prestigious achievements in the world of sports.

Alex Rodriguez is currently the highest paid player in the history of Major League Baseball, with a monster 10-year, $275 million contract that runs through 2017.

David Beckham — $191,176 per Game

 Sports League: Major League Soccer (MLS)

Team: Los Angeles Galaxy

Position: Central Midfielder

Current Contract: 5 years (2007-2011), $32 million

Games per Season: 34

Paycheck per Game: $191,176

When David Beckham signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the American soccer community hoped that he would reinvigorate the sport in this country much like Pele did in the 1970s. While the magnitude of Beckham’s impact hasn’t been quite that significant, the sport has gained a significant fanbase since Beckham’s debut in 2007.

Beckham’s five-year, $32.5 million contract is set to expire at the end of the 2011 MLS season. Whether he extends his contract or not, expect to hear plenty more Beckham buzz again this fall.

Ronaldinho — $221,052 per Game

 Sports League: Brazilian First Division (Soccer)

Team: Flamengo

Position: Striker

Current Contract: 4 years (2011-2014), $33.6 million

Games per Season: 38

Paycheck per Game: $221,052

After being linked to different clubs in the U.S. and Europe, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year recently made the move back to his home country of Brazil to play for the Brazilian First Division club, Flamengo.

Ronaldinho currently makes the equivalent of $700,000 a month, or $33.6 million over the course of his four-year contract.

Rashard Lewis — $239,837 per Game

Sports League: National Basketball Association (NBA)

Team: Washington Wizards

Position: Small Forward

Current Contract: 6 years (2007-2012), $118 million

Games per Season: 82

Paycheck per Game: $239,837

Rashard Lewis gets paid very well just to make three-pointers. In 2007, he agreed to a staggering six-year, $118 million contract with the Orlando Magic.

After some trouble with a banned substance, Lewis was traded to the Washington Wizards on December of 2010. Despite the off-court troubles, he still makes a healthy paycheck every game.

Tim Duncan — $243,902 per Game

Sports League: National Basketball Association (NBA)

Team: San Antonio Spurs

Position: Power Forward/Center

Current Contract: 2 years (2011-2012), $40 million

Games per Season: 82

Paycheck per Game: $243,902

Seasoned NBA veteran Tim Duncan was originally a swimmer, but in high school he switched over to basketball because the school’s swimming pool was destroyed by a hurricane.

Tim Duncan is currently riding the end of a two-year contract extension with the San Antonio Spurs through the 2012 season. It is rumored that he took less than what was offered to allow the team to sign better teammates, and increase his chances of winning another NBA title.

Kevin Garnett — $243,902 per Game

Sports League: National Basketball Association (NBA)

Team: Boston Celtics

Position: Power Forward

Current Contract: 3 years (2010-2012), $60 million

Games per Season: 82

Paycheck per Game: $243,902

The 2007 trade to landed Kevin Garnett in  Boston instantly revitalized the struggling Celtics franchise. In fact, Garnett led the Celtics to an NBA title the very next season.

Upon signing with the Celtics, Garnett immediately inked a three-year, $60 million extension to his current contract that kicked in after the 2009 season.

Pau Gasol — $263,008 per Game

Sports League: National Basketball Association (NBA)

Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Position: Power Forward/Center

Current Contract: 3 years (2010-2012), $64.7 million

Games per Season: 82

Paycheck per Game: $263,008

In 2008, the Los Angeles Lakers traded for big-man Pau Gasol and made yet another championship run.

In  December, 2009, Gasol signed a three-year, $64.7 million contract extension, bumping his “Paycheck per Game” into the upper echelon of NBA stars.

Kobe Bryant — $302,515 per Game

Sports League: National Basketball Association (NBA)

Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Position: Shooting Guard

Current Contract: $24,806,250 for 2010-2011 season

Games per Season: 82

Paycheck per Game: $302,515

Arguably the best basketball player in the game today, Kobe Bryant has a gold medal, four rings and several NBA MVPs awards to his name.

He has already put up a Hall of Fame career and will go down in history as one of the greatest players that the NBA and Los Angeles Lakers franchise has ever seen.

Frank Lampard — $338,061 per Game

Sports League: English Premier League (EPL)

Team: Chelsea

Position: Attacking Midfielder

Current Contract: 5 years (2008-2012), £39.2 million or $64,231,600

Games per Season: 38

Paycheck per Game: $338,061

Widely regarded as one of the best English footballers of all time and the best of his generation, Lampard is currently the attacking midfielder for Chelsea.

In 2008, when Lampard signed a five-year contract worth £39.2 million, he was the highest paid soccer player in the EPL at the time.

Cristiano Ronaldo — $415,350 per Game

Sports League: Spanish Professional Futbol League (La Liga)

Team: Real Madrid

Position: Striker/Winger

Current Contract: 6 years (2009-2015), €66 million or $94.7 million

Games per Season: 38

Paycheck per Game: $415,350

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese-born soccer player for one of Spain’s premier La Liga clubs, Real Madrid. He is currently in a six-year, €66 million ($94.7 million) contract, making him one of the most expensive soccer players in the world.

European leagues function differently than American sports. In order to gain the exclusive “rights” to negotiating a future deal with Ronaldo, other teams will have to pay €1 billion “transfer fee” just to get to the bargaining table.

Adrian Peterson — $421,875 per Game

Sports League: National Football League (NFL)

Team: Minnesota Vikings

Position: Running Back

Current Contract: 6 years (2007-2012), $40.5 million

Games per Season: 16

Paycheck per Game: $421,875

Nicknamed “A.D.” (for “All Day”), Adrian Peterson is a star running back for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. He possesses a rare combination of power, speed, strength, size, agility and vision, making him one of the most dangerous offensive players in the game today. It is also the reason why he is one of the highest paid athletes in the game.

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