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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

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
Tim NwachukwuAFP

Each spring, the NFL Draft comes about with front offices and armchair fantasy managers all around the country turning their attention toward team finances. Most of that energy is spent on player salaries and salary caps. As the season goes on and the league starts getting a good look at teams’ performance, attention slowly gears towards coaches.

With Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season in the books already, and some special wins and losses striking fans thus far, it is worth perhaps looking 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.

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.

Sean McVay is paid $15-18 million per year by the Los Angeles Rams, making him the highest-paid coach in the league, and rightfully so. Since he got hired in 2017, the Rams haven’t missed the playoffs. In 2022, he won Super Bowl LVI, becoming the youngest coach to do so. Bill Belichick is paid $12.5 million per year by the Patriots, with six Super Bowl rings and 22 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. In just one year, McVay has gone from the seventh-highest paid coach in the NFL, with $8.5 million, to surpassing Belichick, and with a huge amount.

Top 10 highest-paid NFL coaches

1. Sean McVayLos Angeles Rams$15-18 million
2. Bill BelichickNew England Patriots$12.5 million
3. Pete CarrollSeattle Seahawks$11 million
4. Kyle ShanahanSan Francisco 49ers$9.5 million
5. John HarbaughBaltimore Ravens$9 million
6. Franck ReichIndianapolis Colts$9 million
7. Matt RhuleCarolina Panthers$8.5 million
8. Mike TomlinPittsburgh Steelers$8 million
9. Andy ReidKansas City Chiefs$8 million
10. Sean McDermottBuffalo Bills$8 million

Let’s take a look at what’s in store for the rest of the NFL coaches:

Ron RiveraWashington Football Team$7 million
Nick SirianniPhiladelphia Eagles$6-7 million
Kliff KingsburyArizona Cardinals$5.5 million
Matt LaFleurGreen Bay Packers$5 million
Robert SalehNew York Jets$5 million
Zac TaylorCincinnati Bengals$4.5 million
Mike McCarthyDallas Cowboys$4 million
Nathaniel HackettDenver Broncos$4 million
Kevin StefanskiCleveland Browns$4 million

Unknown (13 coaches)

Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans, fifth year ($3 million in 2021)

Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers, second year

Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions, second year

Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons, second year

Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, first year

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints, first year

Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars, first year

Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders, first year

Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins, first year

Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota Vikings, first year

Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears, first year

Brian Daboll, New York Giants, first year

Lovie Smith, Houston Texans, first year


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