NCtrend: Taking stock of the jocks
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton became the highest-paid athlete in North Carolina professional sports history in June, signing a contract worth $103.8 million that will tie him to the franchise for the next five years, according to Spotrac.com, an affiliate of USA Today that tracks athletes’ salaries. In addition to Newton, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis and tight end Greg Olsen also signed lucrative contracts this summer, and the team accounts for six of the 11 highest-paid athletes in the state. Before Newton’s extension, Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson was the highest paid at $13.5 million a year. The list doesn’t include endorsement income. If it did, NASCAR drivers including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson would rank high on the list.