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April 03, 2019

ESPN reportedly set to pay Stephen A. Smith up to $10 million per year

The First Take host has two years left on his contract, but he's in line for a big pay day

Television Media
Stephen A. Smith Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports

Television personality Stephen A. Smith before game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs between the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Stephen A. Smith talks about sports all day professionally, something large swaths of the United States does for free. Now, ESPN is reportedly set to pay Smith a mind-boggling $10 million each year to talk about sports.

Say what you will about his persona, or his actual knowledge of current sports teams, but the guy sure seems to have it figured out when it comes to living.

This news comes from the New York Post, which says Smith and ESPN are eyeing contract negotiations at some point in the near future, and his salary could end up anywhere from $8 million to $10 million. 

Smith’s current contract has two years left at roughly $5 million per year, per the Post, but ESPN reportedly sees Smith as must-keep personnel.

If Smith does indeed land the rumored $10 million number, he would become the richest on-air talent in ESPN history, according to the Post.

Some people had feelings, on both ends of the spectrum, about Smith earning way more money than them to talk about sports:

Smith, 51, began writing in Philly for the Inquirer in 1993 and worked for the paper, sometimes contentiously, until 2010.


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