Bengals rank 126th in ESPN salary survey


CINCINNATI -- According to findings published this week from the ESPN/SportingIntelligence Global Salary Survey, NFL teams don't pay their players, on average, as well as teams in other sports leagues. The Cincinnati Bengals, however, are among the NFL teams that do.

Strike another blow to the myth the Bengals are cheap.

Per the survey, the best-paid in the NFL play for the Dolphins, Lions, Bengals and Packers. On average, players on each team make about $2.3 million per year.

NBA teams, the survey found, pay their players $4.6 million on average annually. Major league baseball teams pay their players $4.2 million on average each year. Overall, professional athletes from the world's 333 top sports franchises in 17 sports leagues make $17.94 billion, the survey said.

The Bengals rank 126th on that 333-team list, up from 138th last year. At No. 124, the Dolphins are the highest-ranked NFL team. The survey also has Cincinnati's payroll at $123.3 million, the 21st-highest payroll of the entire list. At $272.8 million, MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers have the largest payroll in global professional sports. With their players averaging salaries of $9.1 million per year, the Paris Saint-Germain soccer team of France's Ligue 1 are the world's highest-earning pro athletes.

This year, Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green will be the Bengals' big earner. He tops the Bengals' 2015 salaries with a whopping $10.18 million that was the product the Bengals signing him to a fifth-year option last year. That salary figure could change, though, as the Bengals potentially work out a long-term extension for him later this summer. Unless re-signed this offseason, he will be playing out the final year of his rookie contract this season.