Sometimes the only way to comprehend just how much the top players in sports earn per year is to see it broken down into pieces. Our premium team took a look at the highest paid player for each major sport last season, expanded a list of money earned per major statistic, and compared that player to the arguable "best value" player of the year for that sport.
It's a bit of an unfair assessment to include Alex Rodriguez, having played only 122 games in 2012, but MLB contracts are 100% guaranteed, and A-Rod's 2012 salary stood atop the list regardless of playing time. We compare his earnings & statistical value to budding Angels star Mike Trout.
In terms of NFL numbers in 2012, we're concerning ourselves with cash-earned - not necessarily just base salary or cap figure. Nobody came close to the $40 million Drew Brees was handed when putting pen to paper on his new $100 million deal with the Saints. We break down his earnings as they compare to Seattle's steal of a 3rd round pick in QB Russell Wilson.
For years now Kobe Bryant has deservedly held the top spot on the NBA salary chart. Experts are hardpressed to find a reason statistically, or from a business standpoint to have it any other way with Kobe. He puts in the minutes, he works the boards, and he's even sharing the ball consistently these days. Our breakdown compares his statistics to those of Timberwolves oft-injured star Kevin Love.
Richards was the focal player in the 2011-12 free agent market, and he cashed in big in the NYC market. His $12M base salary came with a $10M signing bonus for 2011-12. While statistically he brought a nice season to the Rangers, there continues to be much better value around the league. Our team selects Corey Perry as a viable comparison.