Whether he deserves it or not, it’s a staggering amount of money.
Russell Wilson will become the highest paid player in NFL history after penning a four-year deal worth a staggering $140 million – that’s £105 million sterling – plus the not inconsiderable bonus of a signing on fee of $65m (£50m).
That keeps the 30-year-old at the Seattle Seahawks until 2023, although the player himself has expressed a desire to play on until he’s 43!
Wilson is a key player at the Western franchise, helping them to the play-offs in six of the last seven seasons. They won the Super Bowl in 2014, and lost out a year later to the New England Patriots in the Greatest Show on Earth.
Since joining the franchise in 2012, Wilson has recorded some mind-blowing stats including 25,624 passing yards and 196 touchdowns, and he’s ever missed a start in some 112 games.
“For me, for my family, we love Seattle, and it’s the place I want to be,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be here. When I first got drafted in 2012, I wanted to be here forever – this helps solidify that.
“I’ve got many more years to go and a lot more winning to do – we’ve got more Super Bowls to win. I’m excited about that.”
Of course, love tends to blossom when you’re being paid £26.8m a year, although when you factor in commercial rights and shirt sales – not to mention his exploits on the pitch – you could argue that Wilson is worth every penny.
But here does his new contract leave him in the ranks of the highest paid sports stars on the planet?
Lionel Messi ($84 million per year)
If we discount Floyd Mayweather from our list given that he is currently an inactive sportsman, Lionel Messi takes the spoils as the highest paid sports star on the planet with an annual salary that dwarfs that of Wilson.
The Barcelona ace will trouser $84 million per season for the remainder of his contract with the Catalan giants in salary and bonuses, and takes home another $20 million a year in endorsements from companies such as Nike, Gatorade and Huawei.
It’s nice work if you can get it! Of course, being one of the most naturally-gifted sports stars on the planet helps….
Neymar ($71 million per year)
When Neymar joined PSG from Barcelona, he would sign a contract that would make him the second best paid footballer on the planet….and everyone wondered why he had left the Spanish giants!
The Brazilian now out-earns Cristiano Ronaldo by a considerable margin, and while he isn’t as marketable off the pitch he is still doing rather nicely for himself!
Neymar is on board with the likes of Beats by Dr Dre, McDonalds and Red Bull, so when he feels like his $71 million per year salary isn’t cutting the mustard he can always give one of his commercial contacts a call.
Cristiano Ronaldo ($50 million per year)
Ronaldo isn’t paid as much as his old nemesis Messi since joining Juventus, but what he lacks for in an annual salary he more than makes up for in endorsements and commercial rights.
The CR7 brand is worth a cool $47 million per annum to the Portuguese ace, which includes image rights, merchandise and sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike and EA Sports.
The exploits of the Juventus man on the pitch might not be rewarded quite as lucratively as Messi, but in the eyes of companies and brands around the world he is still the main man.
LeBron James ($33 million per year)
Russell Wilson is the highest paid non-football star on the planet, and coming in a close second is basketball colossus LeBron James.
The LA Lakers man picks up a cheque for a cool $33 million per season, but not only that he has invested wisely off the court too.
Alongside endorsements with Nike, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola and Kia Motors, James also has his own investments firm, through whom he owns small percentage stakes in Liverpool FC and Blaze Pizza.
All of which means that, in a good year, he can earn a staggering $55 million in personal endeavours await from the court.
Roger Federer ($30 million per year)
It’s hard to quantify exactly how much Roger Federer and his fellow tennis aces earn because much of their wealth comes from prize money: have a good year on the court and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Bu the Swiss star makes the list thanks to the array of endorsements he boasts which ensures he turns over more than $30 million every year.
Firms like Mercedes Benz, Lindt, Nike and Credit Suisse are queuing up to get the squeaky-clean star on board, and judging by his bank balance Federer is only too happy to oblige.
Matt Ryan ($30 million per year)
There was a new era of spending in NFL when the Atlanta Falcons agreed to splash out $30 million per year on Matt Ryan, the dynamic quarterback.
Such a salary comes with plenty of add-ons too, including a hefty signing bonus ($46 million) and payouts based on performance.
And you an bet your bottom dollar that brands want to partner with a history maker, and that’s why Ryan finds himself plugging products from Nike, Mercedes Benz, Delta Airlines, IBM and much more besides.
Rory McIlroy ($25 million per year)
Like Federer, Rory McIlroy’s annual earnings are linked to how well he plays out on the course, but when you average out his general prize money and endorsements per year you get a figure in the region of $25 million.
It’s been a while since the Irishman won a major, but victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the PLAYERS Championship in recent years have helped to keep the wolf from the door.
He wears the clothes of Nike, uses the clubs of TaylorMade and is only too happy to wear watches from the likes of Omega. At a price, of course.