Bay Area Teams Shut Out From ESPN’s ‘Highest Paid Athlete’ List

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The latest snapshot of professional athlete pay finds Bay Area franchises being relatively frugal compared to some other major sports programs.

ESPN the Magazine’s list of the 25 best-paid athletes in sports lists no Barry Zito, Barry Bonds or even a Buster Posey. As in previous years, many of the highly-compensated don’t even play one of the four major American sports. Eight of the top 25 income earners come from the worlds of boxing, soccer or Formula One.

Former Cal QB Aaron Rodgers is the highest paid in the big four sports at $40 million, trailing only boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. ($73.5 million) and Spanish soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo ($50.2 million) and Lionel Messi ($50.1 million). Bay Area natives Tom Brady ($31 million) and CC Sabathia ($23 million) also hit the top 25 overall.

A further breakdown of NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA salaries reveals no Bay Area paychecks among the league’s elite. According to ESPN rosters, Tim Lincecum is the best-paid local player at $22.5 million.

A recent spending spree under new ownership has pushed the Los Angeles Dodgers to the top of the best paying franchises in sports at $241 million annual salary, easily outpacing the New York Yankees and their $208 million payroll. By contrast, the Giants are sixth in MLB with a $136 million payroll.

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