Highest Paid Athlete: Floyd Mayweather Jr. Beats Out Tiger Woods, LeBron James

For the second straight year, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the highest paid athlete in the United States.

The boxer, who calls his closest associates “The Money Team,” is projected to make about $90 million this year. That’s $30 million more than runner-up LeBron James who will earn about $56.5 million this year.

Unlike Mayweather, the majority of James’ money will come from endorsements. The NBA star is regarded by most as the game’s best current player but he isn’t the highest paid. James took a reduced contract when he joined the Miami Heat in order to allow the team to employ fellow super-stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

James told USA Today earlier this year: “I have not had a full max deal yet in my career — that’s a story untold… I don’t get (credit) for it. That doesn’t matter to me; playing the game is what matters to me. Financially, I’ll sacrifice for the team. It shows for some of the top guys, it isn’t all about money. That’s the genuine side of this, it’s about winning. I understand that. If you want the truth, if this was baseball, (my salary would) be up. I mean way up there.”

MLB players do have some pretty high salaries. Alex Rodriguez and Zach Greinke both made the list with a $29 million salary. The two baseball players finished 9th and 10th on the list, however, as neither player has any major endorsement deals.

Drew Brees, on the other hand, combined his $40 million salary and nearly $20 million in endorsements to land the third place spot on the highest paid athlete list.

Kobe Bryant finished in fourth ahead of golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

The 7th person on the list earned $33 million despite the fact that he never played this season. Yep, Derrick Rose is one of the highest paid athletes on the planet at the moment.

[Image Via Sports Illustrated]