Professional athletes, whether they're football, baseball, hockey or basketball players, all make a lot of money. Between signing bonuses, guaranteed money and who knows what else, it's safe to say they don't have to sell snow blowers in the off season to make ends meet. But just who is the highest paid athlete in Minnesota?

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Thanks to his newly-restructured contract, I'd have guessed the Vikings' Adrian Peterson. But I'd have been wrong. He's in the top ten, at $13 million this season, but he's not the highest paid. According to, that honor goes to St. Paul native and Minnesota Twins first baseman, Joe Mauer, who'll make a nifty $23 million this year. (Can you even wrap your head around what it must be like to make $23 million in a year?!? I can't.)

Here is the entire list of the highest paid athletes here in the North Star State. And as the story notes, there are actually 11 listed, due to a tie between Zach Parise and Ryan Suter:

  1. Joe Mauer: $23 million
  2. Ervin Santana: $13.5 million
  3. Adrian Peterson: $13 million
  4. Ricky Rubio: $12.7 million
  5. Nikola Pekovic: $12.1 million
  6. Ricky Nolasco: $12 million
  7. Torii Hunter: $10.5 million
  8. Mike Wallace: $9.9 million
  9. Phil Hughes: $9.2 million
  10. Zach Parise/Ryan Suter: $9 million
So there they are. Notice anyone missing? What about the Timberwolves' Kevin Garnett? According to the story, "Kevin Garnett, earlier this month, signed on to play two more years with the Timberwolves. The Star Tribune reported the deal is worth a total of $16 million, putting him just outside the top ten."