Forbes recently released their list of the highest-paid athletes in the world for 2020 and four Falcons players were among the 100 listed.
Under owner Arthur Blank, the Falcons have made it a priority to invest in their home-grown talent, so it isn't a surprise to see three players the team drafted make the list. First among the Falcons on Forbes's list is All-Pro receiver Julio Jones, who ranks 26th among all athletes in earnings over the past 12 months. Forbes lists Jones's earnings at $40.5 million over the past year, with $37.5 million coming from his contract and bonuses with the Falcons and $3 million earned from his car dealerships.
Interestingly, the second Falcons player to appear on the list, at No. 37, is defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career after another standout season in 2019. According to Forbes, Jarrett earned $33.1 million this past year, with a majority of that money coming from his contract with the Falcons and various bonuses. Ten spots behind Jarrett, at No. 47, is former NFL MVP Matt Ryan. Forbes lists Ryan's earnings in the last year at $29.5 million, and the site says $24 million has come from the Falcons while the other $5.5 million is from endorsements.
The lone Falcons newcomer to appear on this list is recently signed free-agent pass rusher Dante Fowler. The former Los Angeles Rams edge rusher is No. 81 on Forbes' list and reportedly earned $24.2 million over the last 12 months, a good portion of that, supposedly coming from his former team. Fowler had a career year with 11.5 sacks in 2019, and he is reuniting with Dan Quinn, his former college coach at Florida, in an effort to spark the Falcons' pass rush this season.