If Fantex existed four years ago, Peyton Manning would be No. 1 on this list. Manning may be almost 40, but he is still making a ton of money, and is the type of warrior who will play until his body gives out. He is arguably the most marketable player in the NFL right now, and one can't even begin to count the number of commercials he's appeared in.
Manning is second in the league in jersey sales, and according to celebritynetworth.com, is worth $115 million this year. The star quarterback has endorsements from some of the most well-known brands in the country, including Sony, ESPN, Sprint, DirecTV, Gatorade, Reebok, Master Card and Buick.
What gives Manning's brand appeal is the fact that he can have a future career in either coaching or, almost certainly, the media. In a time when most athletes will be living off endorsements, Manning will still be a popular name across the country and continue to generate even more income.