Cha-ching: The 10 Highest-Paid Athletes in 2014

001_TopPaid_MattRyan_702Photo: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports Images

If you ask them publicly, most championship-caliber athletes would probably tell you that winning titles is more important than the money they earn. While that sounds humble enough, it’s hard to believe that these mega millionaires don’t at least secretly enjoy the financial perks of their profession. It’s truly astounding to see how athlete salaries have skyrocketed over the years, especially when 2014’s top earner got his pay from exactly 72 minutes of competition (we’ll let you know who that is at the end).

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Here are 2014’s highest-paid athletes from around the world:

10. Matt Ryan: $43.8 Million

Even with his team struggling through another mediocre year, the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback recently cashed in on a $28 million signing bonus and $12 million option bonus that propelled him onto Forbes 100 Highest Paid Athletes list for the first time.