Eli Manning retired from the NFL this week, leaving as the game's all-time highest paid player with lifetime football paycheck earnings of just over $250 million. But Manning finishes ranked behind several stars in other sports in on-field pay.
Based on data compiled from media reports, the salary tracking website Spotrac and Forbes Top-Paid lists, here's a look at some of the top-paid athletes in terms of lifetime earnings.
Boxing isn't the most transparent sport, so it's not actually clear how much Floyd Mayweather has made in the ring in his career.
There were several reports after his 2017 fight with mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor that Mayweather would take home at least $300 million just for that one fight, which Mayweather won. Mayweather also earned about $300 million from a 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao; just those two workdays put Mayweather at $600 million in in-the-ring-only money, more than doubling Manning's lifetime on-field earnings.
Some estimates say Mayweather has earned between $700 million and $1 billion in prize money, not counting millions in endorsement earnings.
A-Rod has earned the most in on-field salary among the major American team sports, with a lifetime haul of $450.2 million for his 22-year Major League baseball career with the Mariners, Rangers and Yankees. Current player Mike Trout should eventually pass A-Rod, with Trout having recently signed a 12-year, $430 million deal.
In 21 years in the NBA, the big man who went pro straight out of high school, earned $334.3 million before retiring after the 2016 season.
Another player who may have made more because of a couple extra years in the NBA afforded him by having skipped playing college ball, Bryant had lifetime earnings on the court of $323.3 million.
King James is still active, so this number will keep growing, but James is the highest-paid current NBA player in terms of lifetime earnings. He has earned about $307 million so far. James' salary is also augmented by extensive endorsement fees.
Baseball's Pujols has earned just under $300 million in 19 years - and counting - in the Show.
Others Of Note:
Jordan vies with Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Mayweather for tops in all-time, all-source pay, a small club of athletes believed to have made well over $1 billion when taking endorsements and other off-field or court pay into account. Jordan, however, only made $93.8 million in actual on-court salary during his NBA career. In all, he is believed to have made about $1.9 billion.
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer made just under $120 million in tennis purse money during his long career on the courts. But endorsement deals have taken him over $1 billion.
Golf's biggest name over the last two decades has made about $1.4 billion overall, but only about $100.5 million in actual tournament winnings.
Soccer salaries are notoriously murky, not as public as those in other sports. Messi, the star of Barcelona in Spain's La Liga, made about $85 million just last year in on-field pay. Over much of Messi's 15 year Barca career, he's made around $30 million a year, which still puts him above $400 million in total career earnings.
Photo credit: Bryan Horowitz, Flickr