Over 20 athletes — including ten NFL players — have made Forbes’ list of the top 100 highest paid celebrities.
A number of athletes appear on the list with boxer Floyd Mayweather, who sits atop the group with earnings of $285 million. Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi rings in at $111 million before the first NFL player figures in at number 29, Pro Football Talk reported.
The first pro football player to hit the list is Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan who earned $67.3 million according to Forbes. Along with his NFL salary, Ryan has endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Delta Airlines, IBM, Mercedes Benz and Banana Republic.
Other NFL players include Detroit Lions; Matthew Stafford ($59.5 million), New Orlean Saints quarterback Drew Brees ($42.9 million), the Oakland Raiders’ Derek Carr ($42.1 million), Washington Redskins signal caller Alex Smith ($41.4 million), New York Jets defensive back Trumaine Johnson ($37 million), San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo ($36.2 million), Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins ($35.2 million), and the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller ($35.1 million).
However, over half the athletes on the list are from other sports. The third athlete on the list, for instance, is soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo who earned $108 million over the last year, giving him the tenth spot. Then came MMA fighter Conor McGregor at number 12 with $99 million. Brazillian striker Neymar was next at number 13 with $90 million. NBA star LeBron James hit number 33 with $85.5 million in earnings which put the newly minted L.A. Laker one million bucks ahead of conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh show earned $84.5 million over the last year.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.