From year-to-year athletes’ salaries fluctuate almost as much the standings.
But win or lose, professional athletes still make more money than the average person.
When athletes have record breaking seasons, or lead their team to a championship, sponsors and owners will reward them for it. Most of the time, this means larger bonuses, bigger endorsements, and extended contracts.
But when athletes screw up or involved themselves in scandal, suddenly the checks stop flowing in,.
After a confession in 2009 to using anabolic steroids in 2003 when he played for the Texas Rangers, many predicted Alex Rodriguez's endorsement career would suffer, and it did. In 2009 Rodriguez made $6,000,000 in endorsements and only $4,000,000 in 2010.
Tracy McGrady was traded by the Rockets this spring because he was in the final year of a 3-year, $63 million extension. With little interest in his services during the offseason, he signed a one-year deal with the Pistons for the veteran minimum of $1.35 million.
Mark Teixeira made less money this year simply because when he signed on with the Yankees in 2009, they gave him a $5,000,000 signing bonus. He's doing just fine in 2010.
When Kevin Garnett singed on with the Celtics in 2007, he still had three years left on his contract with the Timberwolves. Upon signing, Garnett agreed to an 'extend and trade,' meaning the Celtics would honour his Timberwolves salary until 2010. But in 2010, Garnett knew he would sign a new contract with the Celtics, with a much smaller pay.
It's pretty obvious why Tiger Woods is 2010's biggest loser in sports. Tiger lost $22 million in endorsements when names like Gatorade, AT&T, and Accenture dropped their contracts after his infamous scandal. He also failed to win a single tournament for the first time in his pro career.
Ryan Howard and the Phillies came to a 3-year $54 million salary agreement in February of 2009 giving Howard $15 million for 2009, $19 million in 2010 and $20 million in 2011. Howard is known for raking in the money in baseball: his $900,000 salary in 2006 was the most any American born baseball player with only one to two years experience has ever made.
Back in 2004, Albert Pujols signed a $100-million, seven-year deal, the richest contract the St. Louis Cardinals had ever given. After the amazing season he had, the Cardinals did not want to risk losing him and knowing the salary increase he would see every year, Pujols gladly signed on.
Amar'e Stoudemire signed on with the New York Knicks this season with a $100 million contract. The Knicks' offer was much more appealing than his former team's. The Suns offered him $71 million with three years guaranteed and the fourth guaranteed at 50% because of his previous knee problems.
Phil Mickelson earned more money in both his salary and his endorsement deals. Winning the 2010 Masters helped boost his salary. And we can speculate that because of Tiger's mishaps, Mickelson won the hearts of endorsements for golf.
After leading the Giants to a 2008 Superbowl win (with the help of the famous David Tyree catch), the Giants offered Eli Manning a $97.5-million contract extension that kicked in this year.
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