“We’re seeing free agency for sports journalists.”

The New York Times's Richard Perez-Pena has Rick Reilly at $3 million a year from ESPN, up from $2 million in last week's WSJ story. Essentially he writes the same piece with a few other interesting items:

The competition for writers has even produced bidding wars, especially for big-name columnists like Rick Reilly (from Sports Illustrated to ESPN), Howard Bryant (from The Post to ESPN) and Selena Roberts (from The New York Times to Sports Illustrated) — but also for less widely known reporters. People who were briefed on the deals said that Mr. Reilly’s contract, easily the biggest of the recent signings, was worth more than $3 million a year.

“It’s the exact same model as what happened to athletes,” said Leigh Steinberg, a top sports agent. “We’re seeing free agency for sports journalists.”

And this surprised me...not that that's saying much since I didn't even know what a carbon footprint was until last weekend:
ESPN.com is one of the most popular sports sites on the Web, with 20 million visitors in November, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, behind only Yahoo Sports, with more than 22 million. The Web site holds the vast bulk of what the writers produce, much of which is never seen on printed pages or heard on the air, including news, features, analysis, commentary and articles to accompany segments produced for television.