http://www.forbes.com/2004/06/23/04athletesland.html one article i read said that Yamaha offered Rossi 17mil for the 04 season, that doesn't count other endorsements. the below list does count endorsements, so it looks like he's close. 1. Tiger Woods: 80.3 mil 2. Michael Shumacher: 80 mil. recieving 40 mil from Ferrari makes him the highest paid athlete. 3. Payton Manning: 42 mil -- Colts QB 4. Michael Jordan: 35 mil. 25 mil a year from Nike, he also has an AMA racing team! 5. Shaquille O'Neal: 31.9 mil. highest salary in team sports. 6. Kevin Garnett: 29.7 mil 7. Andre Agassi: 28.2 mil. 26 mil in endorsments. 8. David Beckham: 28 mil. got signed to Real Madrid because of his ability to draw fans. 9. Alex Rodriguez: 26.2 mil. 10. Kobe Bryant: 26.1 mil.