Make no mistake: the contract new Bills DE Mario Williams signed this offseason is going to be absurdly rich by the end of the season, even by the lofty standards of professional athletes.
SI.com recently published its “Forunate 50″ list - a list that documents the highest-paid American athletes each year. And this year, our new friend Super Mario clocks in at #13. Williams is going to make a crazy $25 million this season, and despite “only” making a half-million via endorsements he’s still going to make the third-most money amongst NFL players this season – trailing only Peyton Manning and Larry Fitzgerald. (It should be noted that Drew Brees’ crazy new contract was not included, or he’d be ahead of all them.)
So I think it’s safe to say we can remove the “cheap” label from Bills owner Ralph Wilson for a bit.
Topping the list overall is boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather, who lived up to that name by pulling in $85 million for just two fights. Two golfers followed with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods at #2 and #3, respectively. The NBA filled the last two spots in the top five, thanks to Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
There’s some hilarious names as we go down the list. My favorite might be Angels outfielder Vernon Wells, who just might have the worst contract in the history of sports. He’s making just over $24 million this season, and he literally is the worst regular outfielder in baseball. Before he got hurt in May, Wells was hitting just .244 with an embarassingly low on-base percentage (.282) and slugging percentage (.404). It’s no coincidence the Angels stopped sucking when he got hurt.
Other terrible, terrible players who are on the top-50 rich thanks to stupid teams:
– #24 Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks (NBA)
– #36 Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants (MLB)
– #42 Rashard Lewis, Washington Wizards (NBA), although he now has a reasonable contract with the Miami Heat for next season
– #43 Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals (NFL)