Athletes earn big money because they generate big money. In many cases, the ginormous salaries are justified—pro athletes are the best in the world at what they do, and every week millions of people watch them and buy their jerseys and trading cards, their personal brands and the products they endorse.
But all too often, things go awry. Athletes get injured and can't deliver their talent. They underperform. Or they just sucked in the first place and their potential was overestimated.
Click on to see who got shackled with the golden handcuffs in 2011.
Important Note: This is about how much athletes got paid THIS YEAR and THIS YEAR ALONE. This is not about how much they get paid over the life of a contract.