Wilfork the Patriots’ top money-maker


Vince Wilfork’s big new deal got him another interesting moniker — Most well-compensated Patriot.

Sports Illustrated has come out with its annual “Fortunate 50”, a ranking of America’s highest earning athletes, and Wilfork checks in at 38th. Like most football players, much more of his earnings come from team-issued paychecks ($18.9 million) than anywhere else ($75,000).

Tom Brady’s name was conspicuously absent from this list. He’s taking home $6.5 million from the team this year ($3 million in roster bonus, $3.5 million in salary), and like Peyton Manning (9th in the rankings) is in the final year of his contract.

A pretty significant number of NFL players made the cut — 15, to be exact. Five of those were rookies, and as far as I could tell, Manning was the only one of the 15 that didn’t have a contract signed in either 2009 or ’10.

Wilfork came in fifth among Boston athletes, behind the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and the Red Sox’ John Lackey. Josh Beckett and David Ortiz also made the cut. Want the full list? Follow the jump …

1) Tiger Woods
2) Phil Mickelson
3) Floyd Mayweather
4) LeBron James
5) Alex Rodriguez
6) Shaquille O’Neal
7) Kobe Bryant
8) Derek Jeter
9) Peyton Manning
10) Dwayne Wade

11) Matthew Stafford
12) Dwight Howard
13) CC Sabathia
14) Eli Manning
15) Kevin Garnett
16) Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
17) Philip Rivers
18) Tim Duncan
19) Terrell Suggs
20) Albert Haynesworth

21) Brett Favre
22) Jermaine O’Neal
23) Amar’e Stoudemire
24) Tracy McGrady
25) Carmelo Anthony
26) John Lackey
27) Paul Pierce
28) Darius Heyward-Bey
29) Jeff Gordon
30) Vernon Wells

31) Vince Carter
32) Albert Pujols
33) Jason Smith
34) Ryan Howard
35) Mark Teixeira
36) Julius Peppers
37) Ray Allen
38) Vince Wilfork
39) Barry Zito
40) DeAngelo Hall

41) Torii Hunter
42) Tyson Jackson
43) Josh Beckett
44) Jimmie Johnson
45) Michael Redd
46) Rashard Lewis
47) David Ortiz
48) Mark Sanchez
49) DeMarcus Ware
50) A.J. Burnett


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