Tag Archives: contract

Dec. 2, 1991 – Mets signed Bonilla to the highest paid contract in team sports

The New York Mets, with a flair for the dramatic and an unprecedented expenditure of cash, signed free agent Bobby Bonilla to a lucrative contract that made him (then) the highest-paid player in team sports. The deal had a guaranteed package for five years and worth $29 million ($48.2 million today). The contract had $27.5 million in base salary, as well as $1.5 million in a promotional arrangement.

Bonilla helped lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to consecutive National League East titles in 1990 and 1991. But without his fellow Pirate stars around him, his offensive production dropped. His stay in New York was also marred by a number of incidents, such as threatening sportswriter Bob Klapisch that he would “show him the Bronx” in response to his book on the 1992 Mets, “The Worst Team Money Could Buy: The Collapse Of The New York Mets.” On another occasion, he called the press box during a game to complain about an error that he was charged with. In 1992 Bonilla hit .249 as the Mets went 72 and 90. Bonilla hit 34 home runs in 1993 and the Mets went 59 and 103.


Sept. 27, 1983 – Larry Bird signed a 7-year, $15 million contract with the Celtics

Larry Bird became the highest paid Celtic at the time.

In 1983-84 the Celtics would go 62-20 and finally get back to the NBA Finals after a three year hiatus. In the final, the Celtics came back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, winning their 15th championship. Bird renewed his college rivalry with Lakers star Magic Johnson during this series. After the series the Celtics traded Henderson, whose dramatic steal in game 2 altered the course of the series and gave the Celtics a chance, to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for their first round pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.

Sept. 3, 1966 – Bobby Orr signed his first NHL contract

The two-year deal paid $70,000 plus a signing bonus, gave Bobby Orr the top salary in hockey.

The Boston Bruins first invested in Orr in 1961 when he was just 13 by sponsoring his youth hockey team. In his debut season with the Bruins in 1966-1967, Orr scored 13 goals and 28 assists, gaining him the Rookie of the Year honor, as well as second-team All-Star.

Orr was not only respected by the Boston fans because of his play (he received a standing ovation when he scored his first NHL goal), but also for his physical play; his first fight and win were against NHL veteran and tough guy Ted Harris (hockey player) of the Montreal Canadiens.

Orr would go on to win two Stanley Cups with the Bruins and still holds four records: most assists by a defenceman in one season, most assists by a defenceman in one game, most points by a defenceman in one season and best plus-minus in one season with +124.

via Bleacher Report

July 12, 1996 – Jordan signs a one-year $30 million contract with the Chicago Bulls


This was the biggest single-season contract ever in American team sports. The one year contract suggested Michael Jordan may leave the Chicago Bulls after the 1996-97 season, or retire. Jordan rewarded the franchise by delivering its fifth league championship.

The following season, Jordan became the only NBA player to sign a contract worth over thirty million dollars in a season. During the 1997-98 season, Jordan earned $33,000,000. He also proved his worth by winning a sixth NBA title for the Chicago Bulls.

2012–2013 highest-paid NBA players:
1. Kobe Bryant‬ (Los Angeles Lakers) – $27,849,149
2. Dirk Nowitzki‬ (Dallas Mavericks) – $22,907,128
3. Carmelo Anthony‬ (New York Knicks) – $20,463,024
4. Amare Stoudemire‬ (New York Knicks) – $19,948,799
5. Joe Johnson‬ (Brooklyn Nets) – $19,752,645
*6. ‪Dwight Howard‬ (Los Angeles Lakers) – $19,536,360
7. Pau Gasol‬ (Los Angeles Lakers) – $19,000,000
**8. Chris Paul‬ (Los Angeles Clippers) – $$17,779,457
9. LeBron James‬ (Miami Heat) – $17,545,000
10. Chris Bosh‬ (Miami Heat) – $17,545,000
11. Dwyane Wade‬ (Miami Heat) – $17,182,000
*Signed with the Houston Rockets
**Resigned with the Los Angeles Clippers

Apr. 9, 2005 – Forrest Griffin defeated Stephan Bonnar in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 1


The fight received national acclaim, and was highly regarded among fans as one of the most exciting, greatest and memorable fights in the history of MMA. It has been dubbed by Dana White as the “most important fight in UFC history”.

All three judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor of the winner, Forrest Griffin, but because of Stephan Bonnar‘s outstanding performance, Dana White also granted Stephan a UFC contract.