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 Forbes before.

Using the information that is available, we came up with the approximate salaries below. We simply took the number of years divided by the size of the reported contract.

Sean Payton and Pete Carroll are listed with biggest contracts. Both making approximately $8,000,000 million a year.

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 the contracts. No information is available for any of the new head coaches from last year. Same thing for the recent new hires following the 2016 regular-season. We will keep checking and update this page whenever new info becomes available.

List of NFL Head Coach Salaries – How Much Money They Make Per Year

Head CoachTeamApprox. Salary
Pete CarrollSeattle Seahawks$8,000,000
Sean PaytonNew Orleans Saints$8,000,000
Bill BelichickNew England Patriots$7,500,000
Andy ReidKansas City Chiefs$7,500,000
John HarbaughBaltimore Ravens$7,000,000
Mike TomlinPittsburgh Steelers$7,000,000
Mike McCarthyGreen Bay Packers$6,000,000
Jason GarrettDallas Cowboys$6,000,000
Bruce AriansArizona Cardinals$6,000,000
Jay GrudenWashington Redskins$5,000,000
Bill O’BrienHouston Texans$5,000,000
Chuck PaganoIndianapolis Colts$4,500,000
Dan QuinnAtlanta Falcons$4,500,000
Marvin LewisCincinnati Bengals$4,500,000
John FoxChicago Bears$4,250,000
Mike ZimmerMinnesota Vikings$4,000,000
Ron RiveraCarolina Panthers$4,000,000
Todd BowlesNew York Jets$4,000,000
Jim CaldwellDetroit Lions$4,000,000
Jack Del RioOakland Raiders$3,500,000
Sean McVayLos Angeles Rams
Kyle ShanahanSan Francisco 49ers
Sean McDermottBuffalo Bills
Vance JosephDenver Broncos
Anthony LynnLos Angeles Chargers
Doug MarroneJacksonville Jaguars
Doug PedersonPhiladelphia Eagles
Ben McAdooNew York Giants
Adam GaseMiami Dolphins
Mike MularkeyTennessee Titans
Hue JacksonCleveland Browns
Dirk KoetterTampa Bay Buccaneers

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 $3 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.

You’ve seen the health issues experienced by 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.  And, of course there is 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: