The AFC North not only has some of the best players in the NFL. This division features a handful of the richest athletes in the world.
According to Forbes magazine, five AFC North players rank among the world's 100 highest-paid athletes. The top in the division is Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, whose earnings total $37.3 million. He is second among NFL players and ranks only behind new Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
Ngata's $37.1 million in salary and bonuses from the Ravens over the last 12 months is more than any other athlete playing a team sport. So, take note quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice as you're negotiating new deals.
If you were wondering who ranked No. 1 on the entire list, it's boxer Floyd Mayweather. His earnings totaled $85 million.
Here are the five players from the AFC North who made the Forbes list (three from the Steelers):
HALOTI NGATA, RAVENS DT
Forbes ranking: No. 12
Total earnings: $37.3 million
Salary/winnings: $37.1 million
Forbes note: Ngata signed a five-year deal worth $61 million in September.
LaMARR WOODLEY, STEELERS LB
Forbes ranking: No. 32 (one spot behind Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the current captain of the Indian national cricket team)
Total earnings: $26.5 million
Salary/winnings: $26.3 million
Forbes note: Woodley received a $13 million signing bonus as part of the new contract he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.
BEN ROETHLISBERGER, STEELERS QB
Forbes ranking: No. 43
Total earnings: $23.3 million
Salary/winnings: $22.3 million
Endorsements: $1 million
Forbes note: His off-field income took a hit with rape allegations that surfaced in 2010 (no charges were filed). Only Nike remains.
JOE THOMAS, BROWNS OT
Forbes ranking: No. 67
Total earnings: $19.8 million
Salary/winnings: $19.3 million
Forbes note: Thomas made $500,000 last year from sponsors like Nike and PepsiCo.
LAWRENCE TIMMONS, STEELERS LB
Forbes ranking: No. 78
Total earnings: $18.6 million
Salary/winnings: $18.4 million
Forbes note: He signed a new five-year, $50 million contract extension before the start of the 2011 season.