LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tom Brady and Naomi Osaka are among the highest-paid athletes

Who are the athletes who make the most money? In 2022, Los Angeles Lakers star/media mogul LeBron James made $126.9 million last year according to research by sports business publication Sportico.

The 37-year-old James takes the number one spot from mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor. James is among 36 NBA players included in Sportco’s Top 100 rankings. James reached the top after being No. 5 a year ago. He is also the only American in the top five, despite Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry ($86.2 million), Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant ($85.9 million), Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden ($76 million), and golfer Tiger Woods ($73.5 million) is in the top ten list. Tennis star Naomi Osaka ($53.2 million) is the highest-earning player on the list. Serena Williams ($35.3 million) is the only other player in the Top 100 players list.

Sportico’s estimates are based on earnings from June 2021 to May 2022 and combine salary and prize money. It also includes incentives and rewards, along with endorsements from things like sponsorship, licensing, royalties, memorabilia, and media appearances. In all, the top 100 combined companies earned $4.5 billion in that time frame, an increase of 6% from last year.

While there are 25 players from the NFL, America’s largest sport, on the list, international soccer players join James in the top five. Lionel Messi ($122 million), Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million) and Neymar ($103 million) are ranked 2-4, respectively. They are among the 13 footballers on the list. The NFL is second only to the NBA with representatives on the list.

With a signing bonus of $60 million, Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford came in at 11th and is the highest-rated player in the NFL. Stafford made $73.3 million last year to line up with a Super Bowl win. Of all the NFL players, there are 10 quarterbacks with Josh Allen and Tom Brady in the top 20. Shoutouts to Ryan Ramchic of the New Orleans Saints and Brandon Sheriff of the Jacksonville Jaguars for being two of the highest paid offensive tacklers to join the roster this year. Trevor Lawrence ($32.8 million), the 22-year-old Jaguar QB, who is at number 72, is the youngest athlete on the list.

Eight teams qualified from three athletes: the Nets, Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and 76 players from the NBA. Buffalo Bills from the NFL; And Paris Saint-Germain from the French first division.

Two athletes were notable at moving to the bottom of the list. McGregor, after sustaining a broken leg and not fighting since July, has moved up from number one to 22nd. Golfer Phil Mickelson dropped from 33 to 44 after losing several sponsors to controversial comments about the Saudi Arabian government.

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