When the conversation of NFL players salaries are brought about, you would think the top notch players such as Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning will be the leading headlines in this category. Sorry to dissapoint you, but the leading man in this category is probably and most likely an unknown name you’ve never heard off. The man is suprisingly Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson, who led the way in overall pro football compensation.
Johnson played college football at Georgia and was considered by some NFL scouts to be a 1st or 2nd round pick and rated as high as the 3rd best defensive end in draft by some scouting services. Charles went later than expected and ended up to the Carolina Panthers in the 3rd round with the 83rd overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Johnson earned an astounishing $34 million during the 2011 season, the first of a six-year, $72 million contract which he signed after the lockout was lifted.
Aside from Johnson, here are a few of the top paid athletes in their respectable sports based on salaries and or prize money from 2011. These large sums of money don’t include all the extra cash athletes earned from endorsements, appearances and sponsorship deals. Manny Pacquiao was the top earning athlete, listed at a stunning $50,000,000 for two WBO title fights. Alex Rodriguez lead the MLB with ($30,000,000) with NBA’s Kobe Bryant ($25,244,000) dashing right behind him. The following athletes are lesser known in their respectable sports, however raked in an enormous amount of cash for being the best in their sporting events. Phil Taylor earned $938,497 last year in dart tournament prize money.
Racquetball is used by some as a form of a cardio workout, but that doesn’t apply to Kane Waselenchuk, who cashed in $270,000 for taking part on the International Racquetball Tour in 2011. Competitive eater Joey Chestnut found $205,000 in hot dog buns while competing in numerous eating contest. Sled dog racing wasn’t exactly a road to riches for Dallas Seavey, but $50,400 for winning the 2012 Iditarod isn’t a chump change. Lindsey Vonn took home $612,417 from World Cup Skiing prize money a year ago. Silvano Alves cashed in $1,461,964 by participating in the Professional Bull Riders in 2011. Professional surfing isn’t publicized much; however Kelly Slater was able to led the men with $556,250 while Carissa Moore topped the women at $114,900.
It might seem as though professional athletes are the ones who always earn the most in terms of salaries but this is not true at all. Regardless of your proffesion, if you are the best or strive to be the best in your field, then the money will somehow find it’s way into your bank account only if you are willing to work hard for it.
A little advise for all the Spitters out there is that never let money be the only or main motivation. I’m pretty sure these above athletes had an obsessive passion for their field of work and thus ended up being successful for their life long journey to get to where they are.