Sports Illustrated has released its list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes, and eight NFL players made cut. If nothing else, it provides resolution to question that comes up every time the Colts play the Patriots: who's better, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?
If we're going by the amount of money they can stuff into their respective man purses, Peyton's the big winner.
Manning, who ranks fourth on SI's list and first among NFL players, is set to make $23 million in salary (expected haul based on his 2011 contract) and $15 million in endorsements for a grand total of $38 million in 2011 earnings.
Brady ranks third among NFL players after Matt Ryan ($32M/$450K/$32.7M) and will pull down just $20 million plus a measly $10 million in endorsements.
Of course, Tom has three Super Bowl rings to Peyton's one. Oh, and he's also married to Gisele Bündchen, the highest-paid supermodel for seven years running who happens to be worth nearly ten figures.
But even if Brady loses points for, sigh, this -- or showing up in public looking like he just stepped off the set of Fantasy Island (lower left -- he was actually at the Kentucky Derby), or succumbing to Bieber Fever (lower right -- that was at a Celtics game) -- at the end of the day, he's still going home to Gisele. He could look like Vince Wilfork dressed up as Bill Belichick and he'd still be better off than every other man on the planet, including Peyton.
As for the other NFL names to crack the top 50, here you go:
- 12. Sam Bradford, Rams, $26.8M salary, $450K endorsements, $27.25M total earnings
- 14. Darrelle Revis, Jets, $25M, $750K, $25.75M
- 38. Mark Sanchez, Jets, $15.25M, $2.5M, $17.75M
- 39. Darnell Dockett, Cardinals, $17.6M, $75K, $17.7K
- 47. Eli Manning, Giants, $9M, $7M, $16M
"Eli has won a championship, and the crazy thing about it is that Mark Sanchez almost gets more pub than the world champion quarterback," Burress said. "And I'm looking at it from afar. The man went out and led the organization to a Super Bowl, but for some reason I guess Mark Sanchez is supposed to be better than the guy that has already won one."
Turns out that holds true for salary and endorsements, too.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.