Before the days of social media gone mad, we’d see the occasional spread in the newspaper about an athlete’s lavish estate, them buying a new home for their parents, or the new custom-made sports car that they turn up to training driving. However, many of these mega-earning stars post regular pictures and videos to their social media accounts, showcasing how their efforts have landed them a life of luxury.
In the United States, the sports market is humungous, and the money paid and guaranteed to the stars of their major leagues is massive, despite each team needing to play within an overall salary cap. Without the caps, athletes would undoubtedly earn a lot more money simply due to the amount pumped into major leagues by sponsors and sports-crazed fans across the country and worldwide in some cases.
Here’s how much each of the five major leagues’ highest earners takes home in annual salary, allowing them to enjoy the pinnacle of luxury living.
NFL: Patrick Mahomes, $45 million
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the newest superstar on the block in the NFL was given everything that he wanted and more by the Kansas City Chiefs after he led them to a Super Bowl triumph last season. The arm of Patrick Mahomes is already being discussed in legendary terms, as is his cheery attitude, with it evident that he always wakes up on the right side of his athlete-grade bed. To kick off 2020, the Chiefs gifted the 24-year-old a ten-year, $450 million record deal, averaging an annual salary of $45 million.
NBA: Steph Curry, $40.2 million
Known as the greatest shooter in NBA history despite being 32-years-old, Steph Curry understandably ranks as the highest-paid player in North America’s major basketball league. He’s proven to be an invaluable asset to the Golden State Warriors, is the cornerstone of a dynasty that won three championships in four years. In 2017, Curry got paid big time, landing a five-year, $201.2 million deal, which sees him reel in a $40.2 million annual salary. Yet, for the 2021-22 season, the terms of the contract see that amount shoot up to $45.8 million.
MLB: Mike Trout, $37.7 million
Hailed as the best player of the current MLB landscape, Mike Trout snapped at the opportunity to earn the largest pro-sports contract in America last spring, claiming a 12-year, $426.5 million deal to earn $37.7 million per year. In signing the deal, however, the perpetual all-star and MVP will almost certainly miss out on the playoffs again, with the Los Angeles Angels back at +75,000 to win the World Series in the baseball betting, while local rivals, the LA Dodgers, are clear favorites at +350, ahead of the +700 New York Yankees. It’s a big-money deal, but one that almost certainly keeps the 29-year-old out of the World Series conversation for the foreseeable future.
NHL: Connor McDavid, $14 million
Despite the physicality, danger, and absurd levels of skill involved, the highest-paid player of the NHL doesn’t even earn half of the other stars of major leagues in North America. Right now, that highest earner is the phenomenal Connor McDavid. While his cap hit is $12.5 million, the 23-year-old only gets a salary of $1 million per season, with $13 million coming by way of his annual signing bonus.
MLS: Javier Hernández, $7.2 million
Across the pond, stars of the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 earn hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, in some cases, per week. In North America, the MLS is very much the smaller major league sibling but can give its stars multi-million deals. Most recently, Mexico’s all-time top scorer joined LA Galaxy, effectively taking the pay packet left by Swedish sharpshooter Zlatan Ibrahimovic to become the league’s highest-paid player.
From the gargantuan amount that Mahomes gets paid to play up to 20 games per year to relatively meager millions offered to the stars of the MLS, all of these top-earning athletes of North America earn enough to live a life of luxury.