Where does Aaron Judge's $360 million Yankees contract rank among the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL?
Slugging outfielder Aaron Judge chose pinstripes for life Wednesday, when he and the New York Yankees reportedly agreed to a nine-year, $360 million contract. While a long-term deal for Judge was always going to be at least $300 million, the 30-year-old made a bet on himself in spring training by turning down a seven-year, $213.5 million offer from the Yankees.
Judge then proceeded to have the season of his life, setting an American League home run record by smashing 62 dingers and winning the AL MVP award. Now, just over a month into free agency, he has received a well-earned contract that contains two years and more than $145 million more than what he was originally offered.
Where does Judge's contract rank among the four major American men's sports? Let's take a tour through the three biggest contracts in each sport to get some context and see where he lands.
1. QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs: 10 years, $450 million ($141 million guaranteed)
Mahomes, one of the best quarterbacks in football and already considered an all-time great, signed a contract in July 2020 that is the largest in the four major U.S. sports. However, NFL contracts aren't fully guaranteed; Mahomes is guaranteed to make $141 million, which is about 31% of his contract value. But barring unforeseen circumstances, he'll make a whole lot more than that.
2. QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills: Six years, $258 million ($150 million guaranteed)
Allen signed his big deal with the Bills in August 2021, and while Buffalo wouldn't have given him that contract if the organization didn't believe he was the real thing, the following season he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a bona fide superstar who can lead and produce under pressure. If you need help remembering, just flip on the highlights of last year's AFC divisional playoff game between the Bills and Chiefs, and it will all come rushing back to you.
3. QB Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos: Five years, $245 million ($161 million guaranteed)
The 33-year-old Wilson signed this giant deal with the Broncos in September 2022, six months after the Seattle Seahawks traded him. It hasn't exactly been going well for Wilson in Denver, but he's just 13 games into his contract, with 72 more regular-season games to go.
1. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets: Five years, $272 million
After Jokic won back-to-back MVP awards, the Nuggets opened their vault, loaded up a Brinks truck and sent it straight to Jokic's house.
2. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards: Five years, $251 million
The Wizards are the only team Beal has ever played for, and with the contract he signed in early July 2022, he'll be with the organization for at least five more years.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks: Five years, $228.2 million
Bucks fans were an absolute mess in December 2020, waiting to see whether beloved superstar Giannis would sign a supermax contract by the deadline or become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Those fans cheered when Giannis signed and then celebrated their brains out when he brought home the championship trophy seven months later.
1. CF Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: 12 years, $426.5 million
Trout has been the best player in baseball pretty much since he made his debut in 2011, and in 2019, he signed a contract with the Angels that paid him like it. He has won three MVPs (including 2019, the year he signed) and nine Silver Sluggers and has been named an All-Star 10 times. MLB contracts are fully guaranteed, so that money is all Trout's.
2. RF Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers: 12 years, $365 million
Betts, one of the most dynamic and exciting players in baseball, signed a massive contract with the Dodgers in 2020, just five months after he was traded by the Boston Red Sox. He has continued to shine and helped the team win the 2020 World Series in his first season in L.A.
3. OF Aaron Judge, New York Yankees: Nine years, $360 million
Judge's contract is worth $5 million less than Betts' on the whole, but Judge will make $10 million per year more than Betts because his contract is three years shorter.
1. Shea Weber, Vegas Golden Knights: 14 years, $110 million
Weber signed this front-loaded, 14-year, $110 million offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers following the 2012 season, which the Nashville Predators, Weber's first team, matched five days later. The NHL-NHLPA collective bargaining agreement was later changed to prevent teams from giving out a contract such as this again.
2. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins: 12 years, $104.4 million
Sid the Kid wasn't always known as one of the greatest players of all time, but by 2012, when he signed with the Penguins for 12 years, he was essentially there. A $104 million contract paid him like the GOAT he was and still is.
3. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers: Eight years, $100 million
McDavid's contract is the most recent on the list, signed in 2017. At the time, the annual value of $12.5 million was the highest in NHL history, and in the five years since, McDavid has been so productive that it's easy to argue he has been underpaid.