Brees
Head coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees share a light
moment at last week's minicamp.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees edged out Aaron Rodgers, his counterpart in Green Bay, to take tops among NFL players on Forbes’ list of the highest-earning athletes over the last year. Brees’ $51 million — $40 million in salary, $11 million through endorsements — edged Rodgers by $2 million.

But Brees’ handsome rewards for being the most prolific passer in professional football over the last six years only lands him at No. 5 on the list, trailing top earner Tiger Woods ($78.1 million), tennis player Rodger Federer ($71.5 million) and basketball stars Kobe Bryant ($61.9 million) and LeBron James ($59.8 million) in the top five.

Tellingly, a woman doesn’t make an appearance on the list until No. 22 — tennis player Maria Sharapova, whose $29 million in earnings was thanks in large part to endorsements ($23 million).

See the full list here.

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