Eight NFL coaches earn salaries topping $6 million


One-fourth of the NFL’s head coaches have salaries of more than $6 million, and coaches in professional football earn incomes that far exceed their counterparts in other pro sports.

That’s the word from Forbes, which is out with its latest ranking of the highest-paid coaches in North American professional sports. As we noted when he signed his new contract in December, Saints coach Sean Payton now makes $8 million a year, making him the highest-paid coach anywhere.

Of the nine pro coaches who make more than $6 million, eight of them are in the NFL: Payton, Patriots coach Bill Belichick ($7.5 million), Chiefs coach Andy Reid ($7.5 million), Seahawks coach Pete Carroll ($7 million), Rams coach Jeff Fisher ($7 million), Redskins coach Mike Shanahan ($7 million), Giants coach Tom Coughlin ($6.67 million) and Eagles coach Chip Kelly ($6.5 million).

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers is the highest-paid coach outside the NFL, at $7 million a year.

Unlike players’ contracts, coaches’ contracts are usually kept private, so it’s possible that some of the reported numbers are off. But suffice to say, the coaches at the top of the NFL pay scale are doing pretty well for themselves. With Payton doing better than any of them.

23 responses to “Eight NFL coaches earn salaries topping $6 million

  1. What’s interesting is how few untainted Super Bowl wins the coaches on that list have.

  2. Fisher? Its hard to believe 6 winning seasons out of 17 warrants a top contract like that.

  3. only 2 of those coaches have taken Their teams 2 the Superbow..what have the a Rest done?

  4. $7.5 for Reid is funny enough, but $6.5 for Kelly, who hasn’t proven a thing in the NFL?! Hilarious!

    No wonder the Eagles never win anything

  5. How does Chip Kelly end up with a salary that high with zero NFL head coaching experience?! For that matter, how do Andy Reid, Jeff Fisher, and Pete Carroll get paid so much with zero rings on their fingers as head coaches?!

  6. I’m with many of you here: these former college coach salaries made me scratch my head.

    But I wonder if it signals a new age. We’ve seen Carroll do alright. Schiano likewise. Belichik admitted to conferring with Kelly on the no-huddle, uptempo offense. We’ve seen professional offenses borrow elements of traditionally-college offenses.

    Saban is king at Alabama, and it doesn’t seem he’ll leave. Same with Les. Maybe this is simply the market now. Pay me or I’ll just spend my time in a more-livable college town competing for championships every year.

  7. I’d be curious to see how much Marvin Lewis makes a year. He is one of the longest tenured coaches in the league but is employed by a cheapskate.

  8. Belichick… definitely paid more on his coaching skills than his communication skills.

  9. No Harbaugh brothers? That is a travesty…Payton and Bilichick I can see; the rest are a joke! And they say football players are divas…lol!

  10. It shouldn’t be that surprising to anyone that the ex-college coaches get paid so much. Unlike coordinators in the NFL, guys like Kelly and Carroll already had jobs where they were the top guy. They were at the top of their profession, so the NFL teams had to pay more to get them to leave. I’m not saying they should be paid more than most NFL coaches (they really shouldn’t), but the money was really the only incentive for them leaving.

  11. What about college coaches???

    What about the guys who take advantage of the annually renewable by mandate scholarships because they’re too big of chickens to coach in the pros???

    Hi Nick Saban!!!

  12. Where is McCarthy… Has certainly “out-coached” some of these other chumps??!!
    Perhaps the “owners” have adjusted his salary to the Cost of Living index in Green Bay… Food for thought

  13. Coach Payton is the man. He’s worth every single penny. The Saints went 7 and 9 without him and missed the playoffs for the first time in 4 years last season. We all live in a capitalist society. Which means you get what you pay for. He delivered New Orleans first SB ever. And he’s fixn to take the Saints there again this year. Geaux Saints!

  14. The fact that so many of the highest paid coaches are in football, which has 16 games plus playoffs is telling. Yes I realize the revenues are higher for football than other sports, but I think the salaries are a great indicator that coaching is of the utmost importance in football. A great coach is much more important than a bunch of talent. Much as I dislike Jim Harbaugh, he took a bunch of talented guys collected by prior regimes who underachieved as well as his own additions and got them to perform better and now they are playing closer to their potential.

  15. Those wondering why chip kelly is on this list, its because he knew he was a great coach and didnt want to leave Oregon. He almost didnt even go to the eagles as head coach but I guess he changed his mind after they offered him this salary.

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