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Cavs occupy top four spots on list of highest-paid athletes

Cavs occupy top four spots on list of highest-paid athletes

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Three Browns offensive linemen — right tackle Jack Conklin, left guard Joel Bitonio and center J.C. Tretter — are Nos. 7-9. Third baseman Jose Ramirez, one of just two Cleveland Indians players in the top 20, is No. 10.

The Cavs’ last four lottery picks — Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro and Collin Sexton — occupy the Nos. 12-15 spots on the list.

A total of 50 players have base salaries of at least $1 million. The Browns (27) and Cavs (15) account for the vast majority of the top 50, which includes eight Indians players. The full digital list is available to Crain’s Data Members.

Myles Garrett, likely the Browns’ best player, is 46th with a base salary of $1.019 million. The defensive end, though, is doing OK. In July 2020, Garrett agreed to a five-year, $125 million extension that included a $21 million signing bonus, plus option bonuses of $20.7 million this year and $18 million in 2022.

Three more Browns stars, including the city’s most marketable athlete, aren’t in the top 50.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield, cornerback Denzel Ward and running back Nick Chubb aren’t ranked because they each have base salaries of $920,000.

Mayfield — who has endorsement deals with the likes of Progressive, Hulu, Nissan, Nike, Bose and BodyArmor — is under contract through 2022, but could be in line for an extension that would pay him at least $35 million a season.

Ward, like Mayfield, is entering the fourth year of his rookie deal and could play on a $13.3 million club option for 2022. (Mayfield’s fifth-year option is $5.6 million higher than Ward’s.)

Chubb, one of the game’s best backs, recently landed a three-year, $36.6 million contract extension. The deal included a $12 million signing bonus, and the average annual value of $12.2 million ranks sixth at the position.

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