Who are the highest and lowest paid coaches in the NFL?
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
As the 2023 NFL playoffs progress towards the Super Bowl, fans and armchair quarterbacks will start evaluating their teams’ performance and attention focuses mainly on coaches, so let’s take a look at the salary of the head coaches of the top teams around the league. Get a good one, and they 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.
Is the highest paid coach is the most successful coach?
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 was paid $20 million per year by the New England Patriots making him the highest-paid coach in the league, and rightfully with six Super Bowl rings and 23 years of tenure. He is also a three-time AP Coach of the Year and the all-time leader in playoff wins by a coach.
The salaries below include coaches that were employed during the 2023 season. At the date of publishing three of the coaches below have left their teams or have been fired: Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll and Mike Vrabel.
Top 10 highest-paid NFL coaches
|1. Bill Belichick
|New England Patriots
|2. Sean Payton
|3. Pete Carroll
|4. Sean McVay
|Los Angeles Rams
|5. Mike Tomlin
|6. Andy Reid
|Kansas City Chiefs
|7. John Hargbaugh
|8. Kyle Shanahan
|San Francisco 49ers
|9. Josh McDaniels
|Las Vegas Raiders
|10. Mike Vrabel
Who are the lowest paid NFL coaches?
|Green Bay Packers
|New York Jets