The Big LeadThe Big Lead

Stephen A. Smith Now Making Almost $8 Million Per Year

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: TV analyst Stephen A. Smith reports from court side before Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 08, 2019 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Stephen A. Smith is ESPN's most valuable asset and is his pay is now certainly reflecting it, as Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports the loquacious take enthusiast's new five-year contract approaches $8 million annually. That's a lot of money! Even more money, in fact, than the previous high-water mark set by Get Up's Mike Greenberg.

The quest to divine the exact numbers of Smith's lucrative new deal was a wild ride for all involved. Early rumors of a $10/year figure captivated the mind, like seeing Aurora Borealis or the printing press for the first time. In the end, the white whale of sports broadcaster paydays -- an eight-figure behemoth -- remains a mythical dream. Perhaps Tony Romo can charm his way into one when the time comes.

As previously reported, Smith's new role is more NBA- and television-focused. A person shouldn't be surprised, though, to see him pop up on any number of programs on the family's dial. The man has an uncanny work ethic and insatiable desire to be on camera, peppering everyone within earshot and his subscriber base with opinions.

Smith's financial windfall should be an inspiration to aspiring sports personalities everywhere. All a person has to do is become the highest-profile person at literally the biggest sports media entity and the checks will follow. The path is clear.