11 Retired Players Still Being Paid by Their Old Teams

In a world where Otto Porter makes $25 million a year, it’s only reasonable to expect more deals across all sports where players defer money to the future.

Kevin Garnett Celtics 2009 Getty

Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics gets ready before the game against the Chicago Bulls on December 12, 2009 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Celtics won 106-80.

Kevin Garnett Celtics 2009 Getty

At the start of this past holiday weekend, Bobby Bonilla made headlines (again) when he received his $1.2 million direct deposit from the Mets—as he does every July 1. Despite having not played for the Metropolitans since 1999 and not having played at all since 2001, Bonilla will make a cool million every year through 2035.

This is usually held out as a classic case of the Mets being a dumpster fire of an organization (to which there is a large degree of truth) but Bonilla isn’t the only retired player still making bank from his old team. Over the last two decades, deferred money in contracts has become increasingly common—particularly in baseball—where a player and a team agree to a salary after said player is no longer with the team. For example, the deferred money in Max Scherzer’s contract with the Nationals will pay him $15 million annually until 2028.

So Bobby Bo just did deferred money before it was cool. In fact, some basketball players have jumped on the deferred money bandwagon over the last couple of years. And in a world where players like Jrue Holliday and Otto Porter make $25 million a year, it’s only reasonable to expect more of these deals in all sports in the future. So here are 11 retired players still raking in major paydays.

Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich talk on the sidelines.

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler Chicago Bears Washington 2016

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett Timberwolves Suns 2015

Tony Romo

Brad Rempel

Todd Helton

Todd Helton Rockies 2013 Getty

Josh Smith

Josh Smith Pistons 2014 Getty

Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez Red Sox 2004 Getty

Steve Young

Steve Young 2016 Patriots Ravens

Bret Saberhagen

Bret Saberhagen Mets 1992 Getty

Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki 2005 Mariners Getty

Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey Jr Cincinnati 2005 Getty

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