The salaries of an NFL head coach aren't as astronomical as many star players, but they are still some of the highest-paid individuals in the sports world.
An average NFL coach makes somewhere between $6 million and $7 million annually. Even first-year head coach Matt Rhule, who was hired from the Baylor collegiate program, signed a seven-year $60 million contract.
Naturally, some of the NFL's highest-paid coaches are made up of recent Super Bowl Champions and perennial contenders. But some highly-paid coaches struggled in 2020.
Top Five Highest-Paid NFL Coaches
5. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens — $9 million
Harbaugh has been at the helm throughout one of the most dramatic organizational and scheme shifts of a franchise in recent history.
Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens shifted from a Super Bowl-winning team with pocket passer Joe Flacco, an elite defense, and a strong run game to one of the most revolutionary run-first offenses built around MVP Lamar Jackson.
Harbaugh, originally a special teams coach, has shown he has the versatility and leadership skills needed to be an elite NFL coach for any personnel.
4. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints — $9.8 million
With Drew Brees likely retiring after the 2020 season, the career of one of the most iconic and successful coach-QB duos will come to an end.
Brees and Payton arrived in New Orleans at the same time, in 2006, and have won over 60% of their games. They've registered 17 playoff wins, won a Super Bowl in 2009, and fostered one of the most consistently elite passing attacks in football.
3. Jon Gruden, Las Vegas Raiders — $10 million
Jon Gruden began his head coaching career with the (then Oakland) Raiders in 1998. Gruden won 38 games in four years with the Raiders and then moved to Tampa Bay to immediatly win a Super Bowl.
After almost a decade with the Buccaneers, Gruden "retired" from coaching to become a TV analyst. After 10 years out of the coaching game, Gruden returned to the Raiders and inked a massive 10-year contract earning him $10 million annually.
2. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks — $11 million
Carroll originally came to the NFL in 1994 as head coach of the Jets, but after a 6-10 record he was out of a job. Another stab at coaching with the Patriots from 1997-1999 went better (27 wins in three years), but it was still not enough for him to stick long term.
After returning to the NCAA, Carroll has found long-term success in Seattle. In his 11 years with the Seahawks, Carroll has won 176 games, registered a 64% win rate, coached in 21 playoff games, been to the Super Bowl twice, and won it once.
1. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots — $12 million
Belichick has become almost as synonymous with coaching as Vince Lombardi or Phil Jackson. He has the third-most wins in NFL coaching history, the third-highest win percentage (of coaches with at least 300 games coached), the most playoff wins ever, and the second-most playoff appearances.
He is a six-time Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Coach of the Year, and has changed the game in countless ways. All he has left to prove is that he can do it all without Tom Brady in the NFL.