Massive paychecks are not as common as they once were for sports stars, thanks to limits imposed on rookie deals, and the average age in the top 100 earners is 31. In spite of these facts, there are still some athletes under 26 who are making enormous amounts of money.
Salaries, prize money, bonuses, licensing, appearance fees and endorsements were used to calculated earning estimates, and determine the athletes aged 25 or younger, who made the most money from June 2017 to June 2018. All of them are men, which some would say indicates that gender equality still has a long way to go in the world of professional sports.
#10 Stephon Tuitt
Earnings: $24.1 million
The Miami native is a defender for the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers. His 5-year contract began in September 2017, and is worth a total of $60 million. This includes an $11 million signing bonus, plus $2.7 million from his 2018 salary that was converted to a further signing bonus in March. The conversion saved the Steelers some room on Tuitt’s salary cap.
#9 Davante Adams
Earnings: $24.5 million
Adams was born in Paolo Alto and played college Football for Fresno State. These days, he is a wide receiver for the NFL’s Wisconsin Green Bay Packers. His 4-year, $58-million contract was signed in December 2018 and included an $18 million signing bonus. Endorsements with Nike, Head & Shoulders, Associated Banc and Pepsi bolster his earnings even more.
#8 Andre Drummond
Earnings: $24.9 million
Drummond’s 5-year, $127-million contract was signed during 2016’s free agency period and is the biggest in the history of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. Since he has averaged at least 13 rebounds per game over the past 5 seasons, the Pistons’ owner Tom Gores probably feels he is worth it. Drummond’s sponsors, Halo Burger, Panini and Nike (Jordan) collectively pay him $1 million every year.
#7 Bradley Beal
Earnings: $24.9 million
Beal re-signed with the NBA’s Washington Wizards in the summer of 2016, in a 5-year contract that is worth $127 million. His team’s faith in him paid off, and in 2018 he landed his first All-Star bid. His handsome salary is padded out well with endorsements for Nike, Verizon, Tissot and Muzik headphones.
#6 Otto Porter Jr.
Earnings: $25.3 million
Porter is a native of St Louis, Missouri, and plays for the Washington Wizards. He signed with them in 2017, when they matched the offer that the Brooklyn Nets had made him, of $106.5 million over 4 years.
#5 Justin Thomas
Earnings: $26 million
Since the beginning of 2016, Thomas has racked up 6 PGA Tour wins, as well as the PGA Player of the Year Award. He has also clinched the top position in the World Golf Rankings, and has sponsorship deals with Titleist, Polo, Footjoy, Citi, Woodford Reserve, NetJets and Beats.
#4 Paul Pogba
Earnings: $29.5 million
Pogba is originally from France, and is also a citizen of Guinea. Today, he plays for Manchester United and the national French Football team. After receiving what many felt was too little at Juventus for 4 years, Manchester City paid a $120 million transfer fee for him in 2016.
#3 Anthony Davis
Earnings: $34.9 million
Davis was chosen as 1 of the NBA’s top 5 players this year for the third time, and is now eligible for a 2019 super-max contract. If this happens, as it is expected to, he’d earn $230 million over 5 years starting in 2020.
#2 Giannis Antetokounmpo
Earnings: $35.5 million
Endorsement deals with Nike, BMO Harris, Kronos Foods, Tissot and several other brands in his native Greece supplement his income, but Antetokounmpo’s 4-year, $100-million contract makes him a top earner on its own. He plays for the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA.
#1 Jordan Spieth
Earnings: $41.2 million
Spieth, who hails from Dallas, Texas, already has $37.3 million in career PGA Tour earnings, which ranks as the 18th
-highest of all time. On top of that, he has proven incredibly marketable and is sponsored by Under Armour, AT&T, Wheaties, Coca-Cola, Titleist, Rolex and other huge brands.