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From The Plains to the penthouse: Cam now ranked among world’s highest-paid athletes

Cam Newton

Just a few months after coming up short in Super Bowl 50, former Auburn University standout Cam Newton has a new victory he can claim: he’s one of the ten highest-paid athletes in the world this year.

The 27-year-old Carolina Panthers quarterback ranked number 7 on the 2016 edition of the annual list released by Forbes. Newton’s earnings amount to $53.1 million, combined from $41.1 million in salary/winnings and $12 million from endorsements.

The NFL’s MVP led the Panthers to the Super Bowl and a 15-1 record this season, and accounted for a total of 45 touchdowns. His new contract with the Panthers is worth $103.8 million over five years, including a $22.5 million signing bonus, a $7.5 million option bonus, and a deferred $10 million option bonus payable in April of 2017. Under Armour also extended their deal with Newton and made him their top-paid NFL endorser. The company pays Newton a royalty for every pair of the UA Highlight cleats they sell.

In the past year the former Auburn quarterback has also expanded his brand off the football field. He established a clothing line with Belk that already includes over 300 products, and this summer he will star in a Nickelodeon series called “All In with Cam Newton.”

Earning the top spot on Forbes’ list is Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who made $88 million in salary, winnings, and endorsements over the past 12 months. Ronaldo moved up from the number 3 spot on Forbes’ 2015 list.

Here are the ten highest-paid athletes of 2016:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo — $88 million
2. Lionel Messi — $81.4 million
3. LeBron James — $77.2 million
4. Roger Federer — $67.8 million
5. Kevin Durant — $56.2 million
6. Novak Djokovic — $55.8 million
7. Cam Newton — $53.1 million
8. Phil Mickelson — $52.9 million
9. Jordan Spieth — $52.8 million
10. Kobe Bryant — $50 million

The complete Forbes list includes the top 100 highest-paid athletes. Julio Jones, former University of Alabama star who currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons, made the list at number 43. Of the top 100, 65 are Americans and baseball players make up the largest group with 29 players making the list. Only two women are included on the list – Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, both tennis stars.

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