According to Forbes Magazine's yearly Highest Paid Athletes article, Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley is the 11th highest paid NFL player, and 31st highest paid athlete alive, topping out at $26.5 million in salary and endorsements in 2011.
Now Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the highest paid NFL player, topping out at $42.4 million from salary and endorsements.
Woodley received a $13 million signing bonus in 2011, along with his base salary and a few bucks ($100,000) in endorsements. He had nine sacks in eight games before a hamstring injury largely derailed his season. His 48 career sacks in five seasons is the 6th highest mark in franchise history, and turning 28 this season, he's just entering the prime of his career.
The list is usually dominated by big-prize athletes like fighters (Floyd Merriweather and Manny Pacquiao are Nos. 1 and 2) and Tiger Woods (No. 3).
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is 43rd overall at $23.3 million, and LB Lawrence Timmons is 78th at $18.6 million.
Here are the top 11 NFL players, along with their overall rank and their reported earnings.
31. LaMarr Woodley, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers, $26.5 million