2. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots — $36.76 million
In truth, while he may rank second in the NFL, there might not be a more marketable or valuable (from a business standpoint) player in the league than Tom Brady. Between his skills as a quarterback, the success he’s had as a player overall, the rockstar good looks, and the fairy tail life off the field, he’s basically an embodiment of the “American Dream.” Brady is still the engine that runs the New England Patriots, and that’s why they’re paying him $28.76 million this season. But other companies — like Under Armour, Uggs, Tag Heuer, and Simmons — who are tapping into his unique appeal to promote their products, combine to pay him another $8 million per year.