New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a five-time Super Bowl winner, has been named AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times and he is, statistically, one of the best players in the National Football League.
But he's still not the highest-paid player in this year's big game.
CNBC Make It used numbers from sports data website Spotrac to find the 2018-2019 average salary for each player on the Patriots and Los Angeles Rams. The highest-paid player: Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, whose average annual salary is a whopping $22.5 million.
The total amount a player takes in depends on several factors like signing bonuses, performance incentives and endorsement deals, of which, Brady has many. He earned $14 million in endorsements in 2018 and may earn another $5 million in bonuses "after the Patriots added incentives to his contract ahead of the season start," Forbes reports.
For now, at least, Donald, the 2017 and 2018 AP Defensive Player of the Year, has the edge. At the beginning of this season, he signed a $135 million deal to be paid out over the next six years, and that, in combination with his endorsement deals and signing bonus, put him at No. 5 on Forbes' list of highest-paid players. (Brady comes in at No. 8.)
Donald wasn't always an athletic powerhouse, though. In fact, he was "lazy as a kid," he said in an interview with ESPN. That was before his father, Archie, introduced him to weightlifting in a homemade basement gym at age 12. Workout time was 4:45 a.m. every weekday.