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Mario Williams ranks 18th on SI's highest-paid-athletes list

By Tim Graham

Still looks strange to see a player in a Buffalo Bills uniform pictured among the richest athletes in the United States.

Yet that's where we find pass-rusher Mario Williams for a second straight year.

Williams ranked 18th among American professional athletes on Sports Illustrated's annual Fortunate 50 list. He was down five slots from the previous year but still ahead of mainstream superstars such as Derek Jeter (19th), Calvin Johnson (29th), Albert Pujols (46th) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (49th).

Sports Illustrated calculated Williams' earning at $25 million, with another $150,000 in endorsements.

Sports Illustrated wrote:

Many called Williams, 28, one of the worst investments of 2012: After Buffalo signed him to a six-year, $96 million free-agent deal, which included a $19 million signing bonus, he was criticized for lack of effort. (He had been playing with an injured wrist.) Williams has modest endorsement deals with Verizon and MuscleTech.

Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Vincent Jackson are the only NFL players ranked ahead of Williams. Only one New York Yankee made more than Williams.

Unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather ranked first at $90 million.

Other big names on the list: LeBron James, second at $56.545; Kobe Bryant, fourth at $46.85 million; Tiger Woods, fifth at $40.839 million; Alex Rodriguez, ninth at $29.9 million.


Mario Williams
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |