Comparing the top player salaries across sports

Connor McDavid just signed the biggest contract of his life, my life and your life. He’s a twenty-year-old about to make $100 million and more over the next nine years and that’s not even including the millions he’ll receive in sponsorships and promotional money. I almost lost sleep that night because not only am I ecstatic that Connor’s staying an Oiler for the next nine years of my life, but I couldn’t fathom making $12.5M in my lifetime, never mind a year. Just when I thought professional athletes couldn’t get paid any more, I remembered that two days prior to the Connor signing, Kevin Durant signed a two-year, $53 million contract with the Golden State Warriors.

My mind essentially exploded right then and there, so I decided to look into the salaries that athletes are earning in other sports around the world. Let’s compare:

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UEFA Champions League

Highest paid player: Cristiano Ronaldo, $58,000,000

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Average Salary: $7M – If someone knows more information on how European soccer players get paid, I’d love to hear it. It appears the players get a salary partly based on how rich the owners are, as well as the performance of the player.

If this doesn’t make you cry then I don’t know what will. Let me remind you that Ronaldo doesn’t just make $58M in salary and bonuses, but he almost matches that in sponsorship deals as well. He banked $93M last year and it’s only going to go up from there. Imagine being the best football player in the universe, making the most money of any athlete in the universe, AND beeing one of the best looking guys in the universe? My jealousy meter is blowing through the roof right now.

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Highest paid player: Stephen Curry, $34,682,550

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Average Salary: $6,831,905

The NBA has arguably the most confusing salary cap system in all pro sports. Not only do they have a hard AND soft cap, they also have many exceptions and fancy rules based on the level of experience you have in the league. The “hard cap” in the NBA for the 2017-18 is $99,093,000. Steph Curry’s most recent deal put him at the “super-max cap” and gave the league it’s first ever $200M contract.


Highest paid player: Clayton Kershaw, $35,571,428

Average Salary: $4,470,000

It makes sense that pitchers are the highest paying position in baseball because you don’t really do anything anywhere else on the field (I KID I KID). I’m just waiting for Tim Tebow to sign his next big contract cause he’s sure to be challenging Kershaw for the MLB record soon.

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Highest paid player: Kaka, $7,168,000

Average Salary: $213,048

This is the most expensive Kaka I’ve ever heard of in my life. The MLS isn’t quite there yet in terms of salary against other leagues but Kaka here is sure doing something right.


Highest paid player: Joe Flacco, $24,550,000

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Average Salary: $1,900,000

With all of these numbers, it’s important to note that certain player positions will pay a lot more than other positions. For example, the average salary of a quarterback in the NFL is upwards of $4M, and the average salary of a running back falls down to $1.5M. So call the numbers skewed if you’d like, but it’s my life-long goal to get paid $500,000 for being a second-string field goal kicker and sit on the bench all season long and I’ll never give up on it!

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Highest paid player: Connor McDaddy, $12,500,000

Average salary: $2,900,000

As amazing as it is that Connor’s getting paid $12.5M AAV, it’s not even close to many other athletes across the world. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he already had the natural skill to make a $5M salary in the NBA and NFL too. These numbers make me angry that I didn’t spend ten hours a day shooting pucks at my garage since coming out of the womb.


Highest paid player: CFL player salaries are not disclosed, however, multiple sources have reported that Ricky Ray and Henry Burris earned between $450,000-$500,000 in 2014. Because the CFL salary cap ($5.1M) has hardly moved since then, I can only assume that the league’s best quarterbacks make around $500,000 per year.

Average salary: $80,000

The CFL is the working man’s league. Not only are these players incredibly skilled at football, but a lot of them also have to work second jobs during the offseason to make a living. As crappy as it is for them, us normal people can’t help to be entertained by the fact that they’re forced to do this like the rest of us normals.