The National Football League suspended Tom Brady for four games for his role in the deflation of footballs last season. The New England Patriots quarterback will lose his salary for those first four games, and there might be some impact to his endorsement deals. Here's the thing though: He only makes an estimated $7 million in endorsements annually, according to Forbes.
While a lot of athletes make more off the field than they do on it, it turns out that NFL players are the exception to that rule. At $7 million, Brady is almost at the very top in terms of NFL players' off-field earnings. His endorsements include Movado, Under Armour and Ugg.
Peyton Manning leads the sport at about $12 million in endorsements. Contrast that with a sport like golf, for example, where several players—many not even household names, are making more than $7 million from their sponsors. The median income of golf's top 50 players was $5.2 million away from the course—almost what the NFL's golden boy makes. The top two golfers in endorsements, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, each make about $50 million from sponsors—not even in the same ballpark as what Brady and Manning get.
That's a huge disparity, and begs the question: Why do players in the NFL, America's No. 1 sport, make so little in endorsements?