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NFL

Who is the highest paid NFL coach? Full salary list

In coaching as in quarterbacks, you get what you pay for. Or do you? We take a closer look at the salaries paid to head coaches across the NFL

Update:
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 30: Head coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates with the trophy after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 30, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.   J
JAMIE SQUIREAFP

With the Super Bowl fast upon us, and the draft just around the corner, front offices and armchair fantasy managers all around the country are turning their attention toward team finances. Most of that energy is spent on player salaries and salary caps, but it is worth perhaps looking at the salary of the head coaches around the league. Get a good one, and you can change the fortunes of a franchise. A dud can mean millions of dollars down the drain.

Just as players have complicated clauses and bonuses written into their contracts, so do coaches. The main difference is that coaches always have guaranteed contracts. If the team is doing well, the contract could be extended. If the team is doing badly, the coach can be dropped at any time. But the team is still on the hook for his money. Since the coaching staff are not party to the collective bargaining agreement between teams and players, their salary has no bearing on the salary cap. Great news for those franchises with deep pockets, less so for small-market teams.

Every contract is individual to the coach and the organization, so it is difficult to generalize. Stock options may be included, as could be performance bonuses. Not every franchise publishes financial details of the front office or coaching staff, so there are a few coaches out there who could fall anywhere along the pay spectrum. But the one thing that (we think that) we know is that the highest paid coach in the NFL is also the most successful coach in the NFL. Bill Belichick is paid $12.5 million per year by the Patriots. He earned $30 in the time it took you to read that sentence. Today, he will make a school teacher’s annual salary. Mind=blown.

The top-paid coaches around the league this year will have a few changes come next season, since Jon Gruden was the third-highest on $10 million per year, until his ignominious firing by the Raiders mid-season. Just below him at number four was Sean Payton, whose retirement at the end of the season will see his $9.8 million salary go back into the Saints pocket. Rich Bisaccia’s salary as interim hasn’t been released by the Raiders and the Saints haven’t announced a replacement for Payton, but we at least have an idea of where the bar is for these teams.

Head Coaches across the league

COACHTEAMANNUAL SALARY
Bill BelichickNew England Patriots$12.5 million
Pete CarrollSeattle Seahawks$11 million
Jon GrudenLas Vegas Raiders$10 million
Sean PaytonNew Orleans Saints$9.8 million
John HarbaughBaltimore Ravens$9 million
Matt RhuleCarolina Panthers$8.5 million
Sean McVayLos Angeles Rams$8.5 million
Mike TomlinPittsburgh Steelers$8 million
Andy ReidKansas City Chiefs$8 million
Bruce AriansTampa Bay Buccaneers$8 million
Ron Rivera Washington Football Team$7 million
Kliff KingsburyArizona Cardinals$5.5 million
Robert SalehNew York Jets$5 million
Joe JudgeNew York Giants$5 million
Matt LaFleurGreen Bay Packers$5 million
Vic FangioDenver Brocos$5 million
Franck ReichIndianapolis Colts$4.5 million
Zac TaylorCincinnati Bengals$4.5 million
Mike McCarthyDallas Cowboys$4 million
Mike ZimmerMinnesota Vikings$4 million
Kevin StefanskiCleveland Browns$4 million
Kyle ShanahanSan Francisco 49ers$3.5 million
Mike VrabelTennessee Titans$3 million
Brian FloresMiami Dolphins$3 million

Unpublished by organization

COACHTEAMYEARS IN JOB
Sean McDermottBuffalo Bills5
Matt NagyChicago Bears4

Urban Meyer

(reportedly asked for $12 million)

Jacksonville Jaguars1
David CulleyHouston Texans1
Brandon StaleyLos Angeles Chargers1
Dan CampbellDetroit Lions1
Nick SirianniPhiladelphia Eagles1
Arthur SmithAtlanta Falcons1
Rich BisacciaLas Vegas Raiders1

Interestingly, the two teams who made it to the Super Bowl are not the ones paying top dollar for their coaches. Sean McVay sneaks into the top ten with his $8.5 million salary, but the $4.5 million that the Bengals are paying Zac Taylor looks downright miserly by comparison. One thing is certain, though. Should Cincinnati win the Super Bowl, his pay will certainly start to climb.

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