Sports are big businesses. Earlier this summer, Radamel Falcao was purchased by French football side Monaco for almost $80 million. Not to be outdone, Paris St. Germain splurged the money for Edinson Cavani for almost $85 million. They are not even the most sought-after football players of the summer. Real Madrid has been reported to offer more than $100 million to Tottenham Hotspurs for the rights to Welsh sensation Gareth Bale.
The amounts mentioned are just the transfer fees and do not even involved the actual contract between the team and the player yet. Football teams, however, are silent on how much their players actually earn. So the honor of the biggest sporting contracts are usually found in North America. In this list are contracts signed in the past 12 months, meaning some were signed in 2012. There is one contract that will only take effect next year. Here is a list of the top 10 biggest contracts in sports for 2013.
10. Ryan Howard, Baseball, 2013-17, $125 million
Known as “The Big Piece,” Ryan Howard is the first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies. The 6’4” left hander was the National League MVP in 2006 and is the fastest player to homer 100 and 200 times. He helped his team to the World Series championship in 2008 and he has been a two-time homerun and three-time RBI champion of the NL.
9. Joe Flacco, American Football, 2013-18, $130.6 million
Joe Flacco has led the Baltimore Ravens to the post season in each of his five years in the National Football League. Fondly called by fans as “Joe Cool,” Flacco’s stock rose even further at the end of last season when he led his team to a Super Bowl title. He is considered to have one of the strongest arms in the league, which he displayed prominently when he led his team to an improbable comeback win over the Denver Broncos in the conference semifinals. Aside from winning the MVP, he also tied the legendary Joe Montana for most touchdown passes in a postseason without an interception.
8. Calvin Johnson, American Football, 2012-19, $132 million
Calvin Johnson is considered the perfect wide receiver. He has size, speed, strength, leaping ability, hand-eye coordination and amazing body control. Called “Megatron” by Detroit Lions fans, Johnson holds NFL records for most receiving yards in a single season, most consecutive games with 100-yard receptions, most consecutive games with more than 10 receptions, and most games with more than 100-yard receptions in a single season.
7. Cole Hamels, Baseball, 2013-18, $144 million
Cole Hamels is a left-handed starting pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. He is best known for his MVP performance during the 2008 postseason when he posted an immaculate 4-0 record as his team won the World Series. He capped off that season by winning the Babe Ruth Award. Hamels has appeared in three all-star games.
6. Adrian Gonzalez, Baseball, 2012-18, $154 million
Adrian Gonzalez is the first baseman of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made his major league debut in 2004 with the Texas Rangers before moving to the San Diego Padres where he became an all-star. He transferred to the Boston Red Sox, which awarded him with one of the biggest contracts in history. He was then traded to the Dodgers. Gonzalez is a four-time all star and three-time Gold Glove recipient.
5. Matt Kemp, Baseball, 2012-19, $160 million
Matt Kemp is an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2011, he barely missed out on the Triple Crown after topping the NL in both homeruns and RBIs. He also finished second in number of stolen bases. He also won his second Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards that year. He also won the Hank Aaron Award and Player of the Year Award from Baseball America that year.
4. Floyd Mayweather, Boxing, 2013-15, $180 million
Floyd Mayweather is considered as the best boxer in the world pound-for-pound. He has been a champion in five different weight divisions. He was the highest paid athlete in 2012 according to rankings made by Forbes and Sports Illustrated. The contract he signed is probably the richest on a yearly basis as his partnership with Showtime Networks calls for six fights in just a little over two years.
3. Prince Fielder, Baseball, 2012-20, $214 million
Prince Fielder is the first baseman of the Detroit Tigers. A five-time all star, he holds the current record for most consecutive games played. He is the youngest player in the American League to hit 50 home runs in a single season. He also holds the Milwaukee Brewers team record for homeruns in a season and is only the second player to win the Homerun Derby more than once.
2. Joey Votto, Baseball, 2014-23, $225 million
Joey Votto is the first baseman of the Cincinnati Reds. The Canadian superstar won the National League MVP and the Hank Aaron award in 2010. He was also a Gold Glove recipient in 2011. He has been to the all star game four times and has led the NL in on-base percentage three times. In 2010, he was honored in Canada with the Lou Marsh Award as the country’s athlete of the year.
1. Albert Pujols, Baseball, 2012-21, $240 million
Albert Pujols is the first baseman of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He made his name while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals where he won World Series titles in 2008 and 2011. He was Rookie of the Year in 2011 and National League MVP in 2005, 2008 and 2009. He holds the distinction of being the only player to bat at least .300 with at least 30 homeruns and at least 100 RBIs in each of the first 10 seasons. He also became the first player to hit for 500 doubles in his first 12 seasons. Pujols also holds the records for most homeruns, hits and RBIs in a single game in the World Series. He has been to the all star game nine times.
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