List of largest sports contracts

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This is a list of the largest sports contracts. These figures include signing bonuses but exclude options, buyouts, and the endorsement deals. This list does not reflect the highest annual salaries or career earnings, only the top 100 largest contracts and thus is largely limited to athletes in team sports and auto racing. Athletes in individual sports, such as golf, tennis, table tennis, boxing, kickboxing, and MMA, are not employed by a team and usually earn money primarily through event winnings. This list also does not necessarily reflect actual money collected by the athletes, since some contracts are eventually terminated (usually due to an athlete either retiring or invoking their opt-out clause).

Entries in this list also require an individual citation of the contract, so a number of the highest salaried athletes (according to Forbes) are not included as their contract details have not been officially confirmed, including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer, and Lewis Hamilton. This also skews the list towards sports with salary caps where salaries are therefore public knowledge and easy to cite.

The contract figures referenced below are presented at face value and do not reflect potential pre or post-tax treatments. For example, contracts with European sports teams are typically quoted on a post-tax basis.

Largest sports contracts[edit]

Rank Name Organization Sport Length of contract Contract value (USD) Average per year (USD) Average per game/event[a] (USD) Ref
1 Lionel Messi[b] FC Barcelona* Association football 4 years (2017–2021) $673,919,105 $168,479,776 $3,743,995[c] [1]
2 Patrick Mahomes[d] Kansas City Chiefs American football 12 years (2020–2031) $503,000,000 $41,916,667 $2,465,686[e] [2]
3 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels Baseball 12 years (2019–2030) $426,500,000 $35,541,667 $219,393 [3]
4 Canelo Álvarez DAZN* Boxing 5 years (2018–2023) $365,000,000 $73,000,000 $33,181,818 [4]
5 Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball 12 years (2020–2032) $365,000,000 $30,416,667 $187,757 [5]
6 Francisco Lindor New York Mets Baseball 10 years (2022–2031) $341,000,000 $34,100,000 $210,494 [6]
7 Fernando Tatís Jr. San Diego Padres Baseball 14 years (2021–2034) $340,000,000 $24,285,714 $149,912 [7]
8 Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies Baseball 13 years (2019–2031) $330,000,000 $25,384,615 $156,695 [8]
9 Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins* Baseball 13 years (2015–2027) $325,000,000 $25,000,000 $154,320 [9]
10 Gerrit Cole New York Yankees Baseball 9 years (2020–2028) $324,000,000 $36,000,000 $222,222 [10]
11 Manny Machado San Diego Padres Baseball 10 years (2019–2028) $300,000,000 $30,000,000 $185,185 [11]
12 Alex Rodriguez[f]R New York Yankees* Baseball 10 years (2008–2017) $275,000,000 $27,500,000 $169,753 [13]
13 Nolan Arenado Colorado Rockies* Baseball 8 years (2019–2026) $260,000,000 $32,500,000 $200,617 [14]
14 Josh Allen Buffalo Bills American football 6 years (2022–2027) $258,000,000 $43,000,000 $2,529,412 [15]
15 Alex Rodriguez[g]R Texas Rangers* Baseball 10 years (2001–2010) $252,000,000 $25,200,000 $155,555 [16]
16 Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers Baseball 8 years (2016–2023) $248,000,000 $31,000,000 $191,358 [17]
17 (tie) Anthony Rendon Los Angeles Angels Baseball 7 years (2020–2026) $245,000,000 $35,000,000 $216,049 [citation needed]
18 (tie) Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals Baseball 7 years (2020–2026) $245,000,000 $35,000,000 $216,049 [18]
19 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels* Baseball 10 years (2012–2021) $240,000,000 $24,000,000 $148,148 [19]
20 Robinson Canó Seattle Mariners* Baseball 10 years (2014–2023) $240,000,000 $24,000,000 $148,148 [20]
21 Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks Basketball 5 years (2021–2026) $228,200,830 $45,640,166 $556,587 [21][22]
22 James Harden Houston Rockets* Basketball 6 years (2017–2023) $228,000,000 $38,000,000 $463,414 [23]
23 Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds Baseball 10 years (2014–2023) $225,000,000 $22,500,000 $138,888 [24]
24 David Price Boston Red Sox* Baseball 7 years (2016–2022) $217,000,000 $31,000,000 $191,358 [25]
25 Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors Basketball 4 years (2022–2026) $215,353,664 $53,838,416 $656,566 [26]
26 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball 7 years (2014–2020) $215,000,000 $30,714,286 $189,594 [27]
27 Christian Yelich Milwaukee Brewers Baseball 9 years (2020–2028) $215,000,000 $23,888,889 $147,462 [28]
28 Prince FielderR Detroit Tigers* Baseball 9 years (2012–2020) $214,000,000 $23,777,778 $146,776 [29]
29 Max Scherzer Washington Nationals Baseball 7 years (2015–2021) $210,000,000 $30,000,000 $185,185 [30]
30 Luka Dončić Dallas Mavericks Basketball 5 years (2022–2027) $207,060,000 $41,412,000 $505,024 [31]
31 Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder* Basketball 5 years (2018–2023) $206,794,070 $41,358,814 $504,375 [32]
32 Zack Greinke Arizona Diamondbacks* Baseball 6 years (2016–2021) $206,500,000 $34,416,667 $212,448 [33]
33 Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz Basketball 5 years (2021–2026) $205,000,000 $41,000,000 $500,000 [34]
34 Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors Basketball 5 years (2017–2022) $201,158,790 $40,231,758 $490,631 [35]
35 Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets Basketball 4 years (2022–2026) $197,656,906 $49,414,227 $602,613 [36]
36 Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers Basketball 4 years (2021–2025) $196,000,000 $49,000,000 $597,560 [37]
37 Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors Basketball 5 years (2019–2024) $189,903,600 $37,980,720 $463,179 [38]
38 Derek JeterR New York Yankees* Baseball 10 years (2001–2010) $189,000,000 $18,900,000 $116,666 [39]
39 Jimmy Butler Miami Heat Basketball 4 years (2022–2026) $186,592,000 $46,648,000 $568,878 [40]
40 Joe MauerR Minnesota Twins* Baseball 8 years (2011–2018) $184,000,000 $23,000,000 $141,975 [41]
41 Jason Heyward Chicago Cubs Baseball 8 years (2016–2023) $184,000,000 $23,000,000 $141,975 [42]
42 Mark TeixeiraR New York Yankees* Baseball 8 years (2009–2016) $180,000,000 $22,500,000 $138,888 [43]
43 Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers* Baseball 7 years (2013–2019) $180,000,000 $25,714,286 $158,730 [44]
44 Tobias Harris Philadelphia 76ers Basketball 5 years (2019-2024) $180,000,000 $36,000,000 $429,024 [45]
45 Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks Basketball 5 years (2019–2024) $177,500,000 $35,500,000 $432,926 [46]
46 Deshaun Watson Houston Texans American football 6 years (2020–2025)[h] $177,500,000[i] $29,583,333 $1,740,196[e] [47]
47 Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers Basketball 5 years (2020–2025) $177,243,360[j] $35,448,672 $432,301 [48]
48 Paul George Los Angeles Clippers Basketball 4 years (2021–2025) $176,265,468 $44,066,367 $544,029 [22]
49 Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers Basketball 4 years (2021–2025) $176,265,152 $44,066,288 $544,028 [49]
50 Félix Hernández Seattle Mariners* Baseball 7 years (2013–2019) $175,000,000 $25,000,000 $154,320 [50]
51 Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals Baseball 7 years (2017–2023) $175,000,000 $25,000,000 $154,320 [51]
52 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Oklahoma City Thunder Basketball 5 years (2022–2027) $172,550,000[k] $34,510,000 $420,854 [52]
53 Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers* Basketball 5 years (2017–2022) $171,174,820 $34,234,964 $417,499 [53]
54 John Wall Washington Wizards* Basketball 4 years (2019–2023) $171,174,820 $42,793,708 $521,874 [54]
55 Buster Posey San Francisco Giants Baseball 9 years (2013–2021) $167,000,000 $18,555,556 $114,540 [55]
56 Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors* Basketball 4 years (2019–2023)[l] $164,255,700 $41,063,925 $500,799 [56]
57 José Altuve Houston Astros Baseball 7 years (2018–2024) $163,500,000 $23,357,143 $144,179 [57]
58 (tie) Bam Adebayo Miami Heat Basketball 5 years (2021–2026) $163,000,590 $32,600,118 $397,562 [58]
58 (tie) De'Aaron Fox Sacramento Kings Basketball 5 years (2021–2026) $163,000,590 $32,600,118 $397,562 [59]
58 (tie) Donovan Mitchell Utah Jazz Basketball 5 years (2021–2026) $163,000,590 $32,600,118 $397,562 [60]
58 (tie) Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics Basketball 5 years (2021–2026) $163,000,590 $32,600,118 $397,562 [61]
62 CC SabathiaR New York Yankees* Baseball 7 years (2009–2015) $161,000,000 $23,000,000 $141,975 [62]
63 Chris Davis Baltimore Orioles Baseball 7 years (2016–2022) $161,000,000 $23,000,000 $141,975 [63]
64 Manny RamírezR Boston Red Sox* Baseball 8 years (2001–2008) $160,000,000 $20,000,000 $123,456 [64]
65 Matt Kemp Los Angeles Dodgers* Baseball 8 years (2012–2019) $160,000,000 $20,000,000 $123,456 [65]
66 Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys American football 4 years (2021–2024)[m] $160,000,000 $40,000,000 $2,352,941[e] [66]
67 Chris Paul Houston Rockets* Basketball 4 years (2018–2022) $159,730,592 $39,932,648 $486,983 [67]
68 Devin Booker Phoenix Suns Basketball 5 years (2018–2023) $158,253,000 $31,650,600 $385,982 [68]
69 (tie) Kristaps Porziņģis Dallas Mavericks Basketball 5 years (2019–2024) $158,253,000 $31,650,600 $385,982 [69]
69 (tie) Karl-Anthony Towns Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball 5 years (2019–2024) $158,253,000 $31,650,600 $385,982 [70]
71 (tie) Brandon Ingram New Orleans Pelicans Basketball 5 years (2020–2025) $158,253,000 $31,650,600 $385,982 [71][72]
71 (tie) Jamal Murray Denver Nuggets Basketball 5 years (2020–2025) $158,253,000 $31,650,600 $385,982 [73]
73 Troy TulowitzkiR Colorado Rockies* Baseball 10 years (2011–2020) $157,750,000 $15,775,000 $97,376 [74]
74 Masahiro Tanaka New York Yankees Baseball 7 years (2014–2020) $155,000,000 $22,141,857 $136,684 [75]
75 Jon Lester Chicago Cubs* Baseball 6 years (2015–2020) $155,000,000 $25,833,333 $159,465 [76]
76 Adrián GonzálezR Boston Red Sox* Baseball 7 years (2012–2018) $154,000,000 $22,000,000 $135,802 [77]
77 LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers Basketball 4 years (2018–2022) $153,312,846 $38,328,212 $467,417 [78]
78 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari* Auto racing 3 years (2007–2009) $153,000,000 $51,000,000 $2,942,307 [79]
79 Jacoby Ellsbury New York Yankees* Baseball 7 years (2014–2020) $153,000,000 $21,857,142 $134,920 [80]
80 Mike Conley Jr. Memphis Grizzlies* Basketball 5 years (2016–2021) $152,605,576 $30,521,115 $372,208 [81]
81 Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers Baseball 8 years (2008–2015) $152,300,000 $19,037,500 $117,515 [82]
82 Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons American football 5 years (2018–2023) $150,000,000 $30,000,000 $1,282,051[e] [83]
83 George Springer Toronto Blue Jays Baseball 6 years (2021–2027) $150,000,000 $25,000,000 $154,320 [84]
84 Yu Darvish Chicago Cubs* Baseball 6 years (2018–2024) $120,000,000–150,000,000 $21,000,000 [85]
85 (tie) Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers Basketball 5 years (2018–2023) $147,710,050 $29,542,010 $360,268 [86]
85 (tie) Nikola Jokić Denver Nuggets Basketball 5 years (2018–2023) $147,710,050 $29,542,010 $360,268 [87]
85 (tie) Andrew Wiggins Minnesota Timberwolves* Basketball 5 years (2018–2023) $147,710,050 $29,542,010 $360,268 [88]
88 Zack Greinke[g] Los Angeles Dodgers* Baseball 6 years (2013–2019) $147,000,000 $24,500,000 $151,234 [89]
89 Gareth Bale Real Madrid C.F.* Association football 6 years (2013–2019) $146,280,000 $24,380,000 $530,000[n] [90]
90 Chris Sale Boston Red Sox Baseball 5 years (2020–2024) $145,000,000 $29,000,000 $179,012 [citation needed]
91 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels Baseball 6 years (2015–2020) $144,500,000 $24,083,333 $148,662 [citation needed]
92 Cole Hamels Philadelphia Phillies* Baseball 6 years (2013–2018) $144,000,000 $24,000,000 $148,148 [91]
93 Eric Hosmer San Diego Padres Baseball 8 years (2018–2025) $144,000,000 $18,000,000 $111,111 [citation needed]
94 Carl CrawfordR Boston Red Sox* Baseball 7 years (2011–2017) $142,000,000 $20,285,714 $125,220 [92]
95 Todd HeltonR Colorado Rockies* Baseball 9 years (2003–2011) $141,500,000 $15,772,222 $97,050 [93]
96 Khalil Mack Chicago Bears American football 6 years (2018–2024) $141,000,000 $23,500,000 $1,382,353[e] [94]
97 (tie) Jimmy Butler Philadelphia 76ers* Basketball 4 years (2019–2023) $140,790,600 $35,197,650 $429,239 [95]
97 (tie) Kemba Walker Charlotte Hornets* Basketball 4 years (2019–2023) $140,790,600 $35,197,650 $429,239 [96]
99 (tie) Patrick Corbin Washington Nationals Baseball 6 years (2019–2024) $140,000,000 $23,333,333 $144,032 [citation needed]
99 (tie) Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks American football 4 years (2019–2023) $140,000,000 $35,000,000 $2,058,824[e] [97]
Footnotes
  1. ^ Based on number of regular-season games only (excludes any playoff games). In baseball, starting pitchers usually pitch every five games, resting during the interval between starts. In soccer, teams are involved in multiple competitions in a season—league matches, domestic cups, and very often continental club competitions.
  2. ^ Messi would receive a maximum of €555,237,619 (US$673,919,105) over four seasons, if a series of conditions were met. The contract was agreed in November 2017 and expired on June 30, 2021. Not all of the conditions were in fact met, and Messi agreed to a salary cut in 2020 due to COVID-19 disruptions.
  3. ^ Based on the following data:
    • 38 La Liga matches per season.
    • Minimum of one match in each edition of Spain's domestic cup competition, Copa del Rey. Since the 2019–20 competition, all matches are single matches except for the two-legged semifinals. In the first two seasons of Messi's contract, all matches from the round of 32 (the point at which all La Liga teams entered the competition) through the semifinals were two-legged. This count does not include any further rounds to which Barcelona could have advanced.
    • Minimum of 6 matches in each edition of the UEFA Champions League. Barcelona directly qualified for the Champions League group phase in each season of Messi's contract, guaranteeing that number of fixtures. This does not include further matches in knockout phases of European competition, whether in the Champions League or Europa League.
    • This count does not include preseason friendly matches, whether domestic or international.
  4. ^ Mahomes signed a 10-year extension on July 6, 2020. When the deal was first reported, it was reported as being 10 years for $503 million. It was later revealed that this amount includes the final years of the contract he was under at the time, which would last until the end of the 2021 NFL season, and the money remaining on that contract.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Reflects the expansion of the NFL regular season from 16 to 17 games in 2021.
  6. ^ Alex Rodriguez's 2014 salary was reduced to $2,868,853 due to his season-long suspension related to the Biogenesis baseball scandal.[12]
  7. ^ a b Rodriguez and Greinke opted out of their contracts after the 2007 and 2015 seasons respectively.
  8. ^ Contract length includes the 2 years remaining on Watson's rookie contract, plus a 4-year extension worth $156 million.
  9. ^ Total value of remaining rookie contract plus extension.
  10. ^ Includes escalator clause triggered when Simmons was named to the All-NBA third team in 2019–20.
  11. ^ Gilgeous-Alexander's contract includes an escalator clause that will increase its total value to $207,060,000 should he be named to the All-NBA Team at any level in the 2021–22 season.[52]
  12. ^ Durant exercised an option to void the final year of this contract in the 2021 offseason, soon afterwards signing a new extension that takes effect in the 2022–23 season.
  13. ^ While this contract was nominally a 6-year deal worth $240 million, the final two years are voidable, making it a 4-year, $160 million deal.
  14. ^ Similarly to the case of Messi's previously noted contract, per-game salary is based on the following data:
    • 38 La Liga matches per season.
    • Minimum of two Copa del Rey games. In each season of Bale's contract with Real, La Liga teams entered the competition in the round of 32, which then consisted of two-legged matches. This does not include any later rounds to which Real advanced.
    • Minimum of 6 UEFA Champions League matches. Real directly qualified for the Champions League group phase in each season of Bale's contract, guaranteeing that number of fixtures. This does not include further matches in knockout phases of European competition, whether in the Champions League or Europa League.
    • This count does not include preseason friendly matches, whether domestic or international.

R – retired
Injury – While still technically under contract, injury has ended his career
* – no longer on team (or with streaming service)
‡ – entirety of contract salary not guaranteed
(tie) – score of two or more above mentioned athletes heretofore considered equal if their contracts have been signed within a given timeframe providing negligible inflation ratio (during the same year)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • Contracts in the NFL are often not guaranteed, meaning that players who retire, or who are cut, do not receive their contracted salaries after their release from the team.
  • NBA and NHL seasons span two calendar years, as do seasons in all of the richest European association football leagues.
  • During his contract years, Michael Schumacher had significantly higher annual earnings than the athletes on this list with larger total contracts. On top of his $31 million per year paid by the Ferrari team, which alone ranked as the highest annual earnings at the time, he also earned a significant amount more per year from race winnings.[citation needed]
  • David Beckham signed a five-year deal with MLS soccer team Los Angeles Galaxy that was worth a reported $251 million,[98] but that figure included commercial endorsements; only $5 million a year of that figure was salary from the club, while the rest came via existing endorsements and profit sharing with the club.[99][100]
  • Lewis Hamilton signed a contract with McLaren Mercedes worth at least £70 million ($138 million USD) over 5 seasons (2008–2012). However, no official contract details were released by the team.[101]

References[edit]

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