Welcome, sports fans, to the professional-athletics-palooza of fall 2020. For the first time in history, all of America’s major professional sports leagues are playing at the same time. That is, of course, due to the unprecedented fallout from the spring’s COVID-19 shutdown.
In March, the NBA suspended its season as the playoff race was just heating up. A few days later, MLB announced the league would postpone opening day. But the show must go on, and by the end of July, both NBA and MLB play had resumed.
Likewise, the players resumed getting paid.
Per Spotrac, we’ve compiled a ranking of the highest-paid athletes in the United States — based on total cash earned, not including endorsements — for the 2019-2020 NBA season, the 2020 MLB campaign, and the 2020-2021 NFL season.
One important note: Baseball players are paid on a per-game basis, so, because of the shortened season, you’ll only see one MLB star on this list.
So, without further ado, here are the 50 highest-paid athletes in America.
50. Ben Roethlisberger: $26 million
In 2019, Ben Roethlisberger inked a two-year, $68 million extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The two-time Super Bowl champion is under contract through the 2021 season.
49. Jalen Ramsey: $26.2 million
Just before the start of the 2020 NFL season, Ramsey made waves by signing the biggest contract in the history of the defensive back position. He signed a 5-year $100 million deal with the Los Angeles Rams.
48. Kenny Clark: $26.7 million
During the off-season, the Green Bay Packers star defensive tackle signed a four-year $70 million contract extension.
47. Jrue Holiday: $27 million
In summer 2017, this standout guard signed a major contract extension with the New Orleans Pelicans — $131.8 million over five years.
Holiday is eligible for a new contract in this off-season, and rumors are flying about where he might land, should the Pelicans seek to move him elsewhere. The Warriors keep popping up in conversation about Holiday’s future, but time will tell.
44 (TIE). Bradley Beal: $27.1 million
Beal has played with the Washington Wizards since they drafted him third overall in 2012. Currently, he is in his fourth season of a five-year contract with the team.
44 (TIE). Hassan Whiteside: $27.1 million
Whiteside’s contract with the Heat was in its final season when Miami dealt him to Portland in 2019. Whiteside is now an unrestricted free agent, since the Blazers lost to the Lakers in the first round of the 2020 playoffs.
44 (TIE). Anthony Davis: $27.1
In 2019, the Lakers sent Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks to New Orleans to bring Davis to the purple and gold.
In January 2020, Davis declined a four-year contract extension with the Lakers, opting to become a free agent in 2021.
40 (TIE). Otto Porter Jr.: $27.3 million
Porter Jr. originally inked a four-year, $106.5 million extension with the Washington Wizards in 2017. He was then traded to the Chicago Bulls the following season.
The former Georgetown star has a player option for the 2020-2021 NBA campaign, but he is expected to stay with the Bulls.
40 (TIE). Karl-Anthony Towns: $27.3 million
In 2018, Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves agreed to a five-year, $158.1 million contract extension.
Minnesota should look to add a complementary talent with their top pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
40 (TIE). Kristaps Porzingis: $27.3
Traded to the Mavericks in February 2019, Porzingis re-signed with Dallas to a five-year, $158.3 million extension.
40 (TIE). Devin Booker: $27.3 million
Like Towns, Booker also scored a five-year, $158.1 million extension that began in 2019. Barring any blockbuster trades, the talented shooting guard is set to be with the Phoenix Suns until at least 2024.
38 (TIE). Joel Embiid: $27.5 million
Embiid scored a five-year, $147.7 million extension with the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2018 off-season. The front-court star is under contract until after the 2022 NBA season.
38 (TIE). Nikola Jokic: $27.5 million
Jokic signed a five-year, $147.7 million extension with the Denver Nuggets in 2018.
The All-Star big man will be eligible to hit free agency after the 2022 season, although, after his stellar performance in the 2020 NBA playoffs, we can’t see the Nuggets wanting the Joker to pack his bags anytime soon.
37. C.J. McCollum: $27.6 million
In 2019, Portland’s frachise-cornerstone shooting guard signed a three-year, $100 million contract extension. That agreement will keep McCollum in Portland until at least 2024.
36. DeMar DeRozan: $27.7 million
DeRozan originally inked a five-year, $139 million extension with the Toronto Raptors in 2016. Then, in 2018, the Raptors dealt DeRozan to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard.
The four-time All-Star has a player option for the upcoming season. He has yet to indicate whether he will opt for free agency or for another year in San Antonio.
34 (TIE). Al Horford: $28 million
Over the summer in 2019, Horford agreed to a four-year, $109 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. Before that, the big man spent three seasons with the Boston Celtics.
34 (TIE). Nikola Vucevic: $28 million
The Magic big man signed a four-year, $100 million extension with Orlando in 2019.
33. Frank Clark: $28.4 million
The Kansas City Chiefs and defensive end Frank Clark agreed to a five-year dear worth $104 million in 2019.
Clark recorded eight sacks in his first season with the Chiefs, including one in Super Bowl LIV against the San Francisco 49ers.
32. Kevin Love: $28.9 million
Love’s contract extension — a four-year, $120.4 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers — began in 2019. The five-time All-Star will be eligible to hit free agency in 2023.
31. DeAndre Hopkins: $29 million
The wide receiver made headlines in 2020 when he negotiated a new contract with the Arizona Cardinals himself, without an agent. The two-year deal is valued at $54.5 million.
30. Deshaun Watson: $29.4 million
Before the 2020 season began, the Texans quarterback inked a blockbuster four-year deal worth $156 million, keeping him in Houston through at least the 2023 season.
29. Damian Lillard: $29.8 million
Lillard is known for his cold-blooded clutch shooting and refusal to lose on the court. That tenacity also translates to contract negotiations. In 2019, the All-Star guard for the Portland Trail Blazers signed a four-year, $196 million contract extension.
28. Paul Millsap: $30.4 million
In 2017, Millsap secured a two-year, $61 million contract, that included a team option for the 2019 season. In the off-season, the Denver Nuggets picked up Millsap’s $30.4 million team option for 2019.
He will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 playoffs.
27. Khris Middleton: $30.6 million
Middleton landed a five-year, $178 million extension with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2019. He’ll make more than his teammate — and 2019 NBA MVP — Giannis Antetokounmpo.
26. Jared Goff: $31 million
In 2019, the Los Angeles Rams quarterback signed a four-year, $134 million contract extension. He’ll be behind the Rams’ line of scrimmage until at least 2023.
25. Dak Prescott: $31.4 million
Prescott’s contract with Dallas is unique in that it is a one-year deal, worth his entire $31.4 million cash earnings.
24. Kyrie Irving: $31.7 million
In free agency in 2019, Irving inked a four-year, $136.5 million deal to join the Brooklyn Nets.
23. Mike Conley: $32.5 million
Back in 2016, Conley secured a five-year, $152.6 million extension with the Memphis Grizzlies. The dynamic point guard has a player option for the 2020 season.
Conley was traded to the Utah Jazz in 2019. He will hit the free-agent market in 2021.
17 (TIE). Gordon Hayward: $32.7 million
Hayward just wrapped his third year of a four-year, $127.8 million deal that he signed with the Boston Celtics.
The All-Star forward has a player option for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. He has not yet said if he will elect to stay in Boston.
17 (TIE). Kawhi Leonard: $32.7 million
The 2019 NBA Finals MVP inked a three-year, $103.1 million pact with the Los Angeles Clippers. Leonard’s deal includes a player option for the 2021-2022 season.
17 (TIE). Tobias Harris: $32.7 million
After acquiring Tobias Harris in 2018, the Philadelphia 76ers re-signed the forward to a five-year, $180 million extension.
17 (TIE). Kemba Walker: $32.7 million
Kemba Walker departed Charlotte for Boston in 2019. The point guard scored a four-year, $140.8 million contract with the Celtics. He has a player option for the season that begins in 2022.
17 (TIE). Klay Thompson: $32.7 million
Klay Thompson signed a fully guaranteed five-year, $189.9 million extension with the Golden State Warriors. Thompson will be with the franchise through 2024.
17 (TIE). Jimmy Butler: $32.7 million
Jimmy Butler landed a four-year, $140.8 million pact with the Miami Heat in 2019. The deal includes a $37.7 million player option for the season that begins in 2022.
16. Paul George: $33 million
George inked a four-year, $136.9 million contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2018 but was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers after just one season.
The six-time All-Star has a player option for the 2021-2022 season.
15. Blake Griffin: $34.4 million
Griffin originally signed a five-year, $171.2 million pact with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2017. He was then dealt to the Detroit Pistons that same season.
14. Kyle Lowry: $35 million
In 2017, Lowry signed a three-year, $100 million extension with the Toronto Raptors. In 2019, the point guard signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him in Toronto for at least one more year.
13. LeBron James: $37.4 milliion
The most famous name in basketball will be in Los Angeles for at least one more season. In 2018, he inked a four-year, $153 million deal with the Lakers with a player option for the season that begins in 2021.
12. Ryan Tannehill: $37.5 million
In 2020, quarterback Ryan Tannehill agreed to a four-year, $118 million contract extension with the Tennessee Titans. The deal included a $20 million signing bonus.
9 (TIE). Kevin Durant: $38.2 million
Kevin Durant signed a four-year, $164 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets in 2019. He missed his entire first season with the squad because of a ruptured Achilles tendon.
9 (TIE). James Harden: $38.2 million
James Harden’s four-year, $169.3 million deal with the Houston Rockets began in 2019. The reigning MVP has a player option for the 2022 NBA season.
9 (TIE). John Wall: $38.2 million
In the summer of 2017, Wall scored a four-year, $169.3 million extension with the Washington Wizards. The oft-injured point guard’s new deal began in 2019, but he hasn’t touched a basketball in an NBA game since 2018.
7 (TIE). Russell Westbrook: $38.5 million
Before the 2018-2019 NBA season, Westbrook inked a five-year, $206 million contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 2017 league MVP was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2019 for veteran guard Chris Paul.
7 (TIE). Chris Paul: $38.5 million
Similar to Westbrook’s story, Chris Paul signed a four-year, $159 million deal with the Thunder ahead of the 2018 season.
The team’s swapped guard-for-guard one season later.
6. Carson Wentz: $39.4 million
Super Bowl champion quarterback Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a four-year, $128 million deal in 2019. He’ll be with the team at least through the NFL season that begins in 2021.
5. Kirk Cousins: $40 million
The Minnesota Vikings secured this veteran quarterback’s talents for another two years when they agreed to a fully guaranteed $66 million extension in 2020.
Cousins is currently slated to become a free agent in 2023.
4. Stephen Curry: $40.2 million
Curry signed a five-year, $201.2 million contract extension with the Golden State Warriors in 2017. The two-time MVP will be eligible to hit free agency following the 2022 NBA campaign.
Curry is the highest-paid player in the NBA.
3. Joey Bosa: $43 million
Defensive end Joey Bosa inked a lucrative deal with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020.
The two-time Pro Bowler scored $135 million over five years including $14 million in roster and signing bonuses delivered in the first year of his contract.
2. Russell Wilson: $53 million
In April 2019, Wilson inked a four-year, $140 million contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks. The deal includes $70 million guaranteed. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback is eligible to be a free agent in 2024.
1. Mookie Betts: $75 million
Mookie Betts is the only MLB player on this year’s highest-paid athletes list. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed the talented 27-year-old outfielder to a 12-year, $365 million deal. Betts will be almost 40 when his contract with L.A. expires.