Tom Brady Ranks First In Career Earnings Among Former Wolverines


Though he came from humble beginnings, the last pick of the sixth round in the 2000 NFL Draft, Tom Brady has made more money in his career than any other former Wolverine across the four major sports.

Brady made just $231,500 as a rookie and $372,160 in his second year, but that season he led New England to a Super Bowl, and his salary would escalate quickly, to $3.8 million, to $9 million, $12, $19 million and, most recently, a two-year deal with the Tampa Buccaneers worth $25 million annually.

By the end of his two seasons in Tampa, Brady will have earned $285 million in salary alone.

Coming in second is former NBA No. 1 overall pick Chris Webber, who made more than 178 million during his 15 seasons. At his peak, Webber made $19,125,000 with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2005-06.

When he was named Michigan’s basketball coach last spring, Juwan Howard signed for a bargain deal of $2.24 million annually but then, he’s already made plenty of moolah during his career, raking in cash earnings of $149 million during 19 seasons in the NBA.

Coming in fourth in career earnings is Jamal Crawford. After spending just half a season in Ann Arbor before turning pro, Crawford made a little over $8 million with the Chicago Bulls, proving himself an elite scorer off the bench. Arguably the top sixth man of the past 15 years, Crawford earned big deals with the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets and sits atop $122 million in total compensation.

After proving himself one of the best pass rushers in the NFL during four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Frank Clark earned a five-year, $104 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. At the end of the deal in 2023 he will have made $108 million while hoping to continue his career for a few more years.

Former Fab Five teammate of Webber and Howard, Jalen Rose also crossed the $100 million threshold during his NBA career, finishing with $102 million during 13 seasons with six different teams.

Considered one of the top offensive tackles in the NFL, Tennessee Titan Taylor Lewan has four years left on a contract that will take him to $85 million in career cash earnings. At 33 years old in 2024, he could sign one more deal if he maintains a relatively high level of pay and, potentially, finish above $100 million.

Brandon Graham and Jake Long spent two years battling in practice at Michigan and they find themselves Nos. 8 & 9 in career cash earnings, Graham set to earn another $24 million over the next two seasons from the Philadelphia Eagles as he finishes 2021 with 85 million to his name.

Injuries to Long’s career forced an early retirement in 2016 at the age of 31. He had been one of the preeminent offensive tackles in the league from 2008-2011 and made $58 million in five seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Upon his retirement, Long had accrued $71 million in his career.

No. 10 all time among former Wolverines is NHL defenseman Jacob Trouba. He is in the first year of a seven-year deal with the New York Rangers that will pay him $56 million and bring his net total to a shade under $71 million in 2026.

However, there is a chance that Tim Hardaway Jr., who will have made $60 million through 2021 or Caris Levert, who will have made $60 million through 2023 will sign extensions that vault them into the Top 10. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: I missed Charles Woodson, who made $97,899,369 during his NFL career. He should rank seventh. 

I used to track salaries across the four major spots. If you think I missed one, please let me know in the comments.