Most NFL coach salaries aren’t officially disclosed. However, there are sources that report approximate contracts when at all possible. Normally this is the home town newspapers, but I’ve also found data on Twitter, Forbes, Pro Football Talk, and Spotrac.
Using the information that is available, we came up with the approximate salaries below.
The Patriots’ Bill Belichick is reportedly the highest paid coach in the NFL, though no official details about his compensation or the current term of his contract have been made public. The same goes with several other coaches on the list, but these are the best estimates currently available. Jon Gruden made headlines with his publicly announced 10 year, $100 million contract in 2018, but most insiders agree that he is likely not the most well compensated coach per year. The most shocking part of that contract is the 10 year term, unprecedented in the modern NFL.
Also included are each coaches’ contract end date (where available) and the estimated total compensation of their current contract. Note that many contracts are extensions of existing deals. For example, Pete Carroll signed a 3 year extension in 2018 at an estimated $11 million per season. His original contract was 5 years for $35 million ($7 million per year), but was renegotiated for the extension. Since data is limited on past contracts, as well as extensions, the contract totals below only represent the current term/extension of the contract, not their total compensation since they first signed with the team.
Most names at the top of the list have incentives and other perks built into their compensation. So while the salaries vary, the top guys typically make around the same amount.
Unfortunately teams are getting more stingy with releasing the details of coaching contracts. Almost no information has leaked about the newest contracts, including the lengths of the deals, but we will update these numbers if the information becomes available.
List of NFL Head Coach Salaries – How Much Money They Make Per Year
|Head Coach||Team||Contract Ends||Contract Total||2019 Salary|
|Bill Belichick||New England Patriots||$12,500,000|
|Pete Carroll||Seattle Seahawks||2021||$33,000,000||$11,000,000|
|Jon Gruden||Oakland Raiders||2028||$100,000,000||$10,000,000|
|Sean Payton||New Orleans Saints||2023||$45,000,000||$9,000,000|
|Andy Reid||Kansas City Chiefs||2023||$37,500,000||$7,500,000|
|John Harbaugh||Baltimore Ravens||2023||$28,000,000||$7,000,000|
|Mike Tomlin||Pittsburgh Steelers||2021||$28,000,000||$7,000,000|
|Ron Rivera||Carolina Panthers||2021||$13,000,000||$6,500,000|
|Jason Garrett||Dallas Cowboys||2020||$30,000,000||$6,000,000|
|Matt LaFleur||Green Bay Packers||2023||$20,000,000||$5,000,000|
|Bill O’Brien||Houston Texans||2023||$20,000,000||$5,000,000|
|Mike Zimmer||Minnesota Vikings||2021||$10,000,000||$5,000,000|
|Dan Quinn||Atlanta Falcons||2021||$13,500,000||$4,500,000|
|Jay Gruden||Washington Redskins||2021||$16,000,000||$4,000,000|
|Kliff Kingsbury||Arizona Cardinals||2023|
|Sean McDermott||Buffalo Bills||2022|
|Matt Nagy||Chicago Bears||2023|
|Zac Taylor||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Freddie Kitchens||Cleveland Browns|
|Vic Fangio||Denver Broncos||2023|
|Matt Patricia||Detroit Lions||2023|
|Frank Reich||Indianapolis Colts||2023|
|Doug Marrone||Jacksonville Jaguars||2022|
|Anthony Lynn||Los Angeles Chargers||2021|
|Sean McVay||Los Angeles Rams||2022|
|Brian Flores||Miami Dolphins||2024|
|Pat Shurmur||New York Giants||2023|
|Adam Gase||New York Jets|
|Doug Pederson||Philadelphia Eagles||2023|
|Kyle Shanahan||San Francisco 49ers||2022|
|Bruce Arians||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2023|
|Mike Vrabel||Tennessee Titans||2023|
Why Are NFL Coaches Paid So Much in Salary?
Obviously this isn’t a bad gig if you can get it. However, there aren’t many positions available with only 32 teams, and only a few spots come up each year. If you are a minority, there are even fewer opportunities, a big reason why the NFL has implanted a Rooney Rule to help make sure under-represented groups get granted an interview. Now that rule has been expanded to assistant coaches as well. Rumor has it that they want to expand the rule to include women as well.
As you can see, once hired you are going to be making in excess of $4 million per year. Why so much? Probably because of the 20+ hour workdays, stress, and pressure of running a multi-billion dollar operation. You have players who are always running into off the field problems.
In the past we’ve seen health issues experienced by head coaches like Gary Kubiak and John Fox, but it’s easy to see why they continue to roam the sidelines despite the health problems. They are making enough money to set their families up for generations to come.
If you win a Super Bowl you are almost guaranteed to get a big, fat bump in your next paycheck. It’s not wonder with the success that the New England Patriots have had why Bill Belichick makes so much. Sean Payton turned the New Orleans Saints from a cellar dweller to a league champion. There is also Pete Carroll, who finally turned Seattle’s Seahawks into a mini-dynasty.
Coaching a bad team? Expect to be on the low end of the totem pole, but there is plenty of incentive to turn your team around. More than just job security, but millions of dollars extra on top of your next contract.
Check out coaches in other sports: