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24/7 Wall St.: Highest-Paid Players of All Time

8 of 13

5. Joe Montana

Salary ratio: 11.23
Sport: football (quarterback)
Highest salary: $4,000,000 (1990)
Average player salary: $356,000 (1990)

Joe Montana spent 16 years in the NFL between 1979 and 1994. He spent the last two years of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he is known primarily as team leader and starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, a position he held for more than a decade. In 1990, the last year he played a full season with San Francisco, Montana earned $4 million. The average NFL player salary at that point was just $356,000. Montana, nicknamed "Joe Cool," was famous for his ability to deal with postseason pressure. Over a seven-year period stretching from 1981 through 1990, Montana led the 49ers to four Super Bowl championships, and was himself voted MVP for three of them.

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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