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The Highest-Paid Oklahoma State Professional Athletes of All-Time

Russell Okung!



Recently, we looked at the highest-paid Pokes across all professional sports, but a dive into Big Country’s, uh, interesting history with WB-branded basketball shoes made me want to look into the highest-paid Pokes of all time across any sport.

That is, which Oklahoma State athletes have earned the most career money. I knew Country had made the most in hoops (again, Marcus Smart is going to obliterate his $55.6 million number soon), but I didn’t know who had made the most in baseball or football or even golf.

So here’s a cobbled-together list with data from a variety of sites* that includes 2020 contracts. It is obviously weighted toward modern sports because of how much money is in various leagues these days. Note: this is on-field (on-course) earnings only and does not include endorsements. I tried to sift through every long-term (and recent) pro in all four sports, but I may have missed one or two along the way. Anyway, here’s the list.

Russell Okung: $108.5 million
Robin Ventura: $67.1 million
Dez Bryant: $57.4 million
Bryant Reeves: $55.6 million
Kevin Williams: $53.9 million
Jeromy Burnitz: $46.4 million
Antonio Smith: $46.4 million
Tony Allen: $40.7 million
Charles Howell III: $39.7 million
Marcus Smart: $39 million
Rickie Fowler: $38.6 million
Desmond Mason: $37.6 million
Barry Sanders: $33.8 million
Hunter Mahan: $30.7 million
R.W. McQuarters: $28.5 million
Scott Verplank $27.5 million**
John Starks: $25 million
Thurman Thomas: $23.6 million
Brandon Pettigrew: $22.7 million
Lane Taylor: $22.3 million
Dan Bailey: $21.7 million
Luke Scott: $21.7 million
Scott Baker: $21.5 million
Bo Van Pelt: $20.4 million

*Strangely, I couldn’t find career money on Jamal Williams (but it was a lot)
**Does not include PGA Tour Champions

Here are some notes.

• Russell Okung, have mercy! Nearly two Dez Bryants over the course of his career in the NFL! And he’s only been in the NFL for a decade. It’s not absurd to think that Okung could — given some good investments over the course of the rest of his life — approach becoming a billionaire.

• The most surprising name on this list for me? Jeromy Burnitz. I didn’t realize he would be that high up, and I wouldn’t have guessed him as a top-six guy if you’d given me 200 tries.

• I chuckled when I saw that Desmond Mason made more in his career than Barry Sanders made in his. Hunter Mahan over Thurman Thomas was a good one as well.

• How quickly will Cade Cunningham rise up this list? Anthony Davis — the No. 1 pick just eight years ago — has made $121.6 million over the course of his career. Karl-Anthony Towns — the No. 1 pick in 2015 — has made $53 million in his career. Cade will likely be top five on this list in five years.

• I think the “will Marcus Smart or Rickie Fowler make more over the course of his career?” question is a fun one to debate. Smart will torch him over the next few years, but Fowler will be steadier for the next 10-15.

• The top four on this list would be a hell of a dinner party.

• Justin Blackmon and Justin Gilbert both made over $10 million in the NFL. Not sure what that says, but I was intrigued.

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