Highest paid Arizona athletes

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(Source: The Associated Press) (Source: The Associated Press)

Playing sports is a fun job but it’s still a job. And athletes, just like everyone else, want to get paid. Some athletes have cashed in big time on all their hard work. Below are the top Arizona athletes who are getting that paper along with how much they have made or will make for the 2017 season.

Zack Greinke $24.1 million

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Greinke surprised many people in the baseball world the Arizona Diamondbacks outbid the Los Angeles Dodgers for the ace in 2015. He signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of that year. For 2017, he made more than $24 million. He made the All-Star team and finished with 215 strikeouts and a 3.20 ERA, helping the Snakes get to the playoffs. He’s at No. 67 on the Forbes’ 100 highest-paid list for 2017. He’s also the seventh highest-paid in Major League Baseball.

Chandler Jones  $22 million

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The outside linebacker cashed in big time following the performance in the 2016 season for the Cardinals. After being traded to the Red Birds, he recorded 11 sacks and then signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract extension. That translates into a $7 million salary for 2017 and a $15 million signing bonus. That was good enough for No. 76 on the Forbes’ 100 highest-paid list for 2017.

Carson Palmer $17.5 million

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The signal caller for the Cardinals also makes the list thanks to the contract extension he signed in 2016. He got $15.5 million in guaranteed money for the 2017 season plus a $2 million bonus. Last year, he threw for more than 4,200 yards but only 26 touchdowns and 14 picks. He’s hoping for the Fountain of Youth in 2017. (In case you were wondering, Larry Fitzgerald will make $11 million in 2017)

Eric Bledsoe $14.5 million

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He’s only 27 years old but Bledsoe is considered one of the veterans on a very young Phoenix Suns squad. He also makes the most money. For the 2017-18 season, he’ll make $14.5 million, which is $500,000 more than he did last season. He’ll get another $500,000 increase for the 2018-2019 season before becoming an unrestricted free agent. He averaged a career-high for averages in points (21.1), assists (6.3) and free throw percentage (85%) last year and hopes to build on that as the Suns fight for respectability.

Brandon Knight $13.6 million

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Knight’s contract is probably the worst on the list from a fan’s perspective. Good for him for getting paid but bad for the team as he hasn’t produced. The point guard will make $13.6 million while sitting on the bench during the 2017-18 season, part of his five-year $70 million deal he signed in 2015.  He only averaged 11 points and 2.4 assists last year. He won’t play this year because he tore his ACL in his left knee in July.

Paul Goldschmidt  $8.9 million

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Goldschmidt’s contract is the exact opposite of Knight’s as it’s the most bang for your buck. America’s first baseman hit 36 home runs, drove in 120 runs while batting .297 and could finish in the top 5 of MVP voting. His $8.9 million in 2017 is 128th in Major League Baseball.

Derek Stepan $7 million

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The 27-year-old center signed a six-year $39 million deal with the Rangers in 2015 but was traded to the Coyotes in 2017 for the seventh overall pick in the NHL Draft. That $7 million base salary is the highest for the Arizona hockey team. The Coyotes are winless through their first five games this season, the only winless team in the Western Conference.

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