Details about player contracts are in the NFL news cycle seemingly every day. There are complicated clauses, guarantees and bonuses that change each player’s money and each team’s salary cap situation.
But what about head coaches? Their money doesn’t count against the cap, and few coaches see the end of a contract. If the team is succeeding, a coach will get an extension before his current deal is up. If the team is struggling, a coach could get fired at any moment.
Here’s what we know about how much each coach is making in 2022:
1. Sean McVay, $15-18 million
After winning his first Super Bowl, McVay was rewarded with a hefty new contract that made him the league’s highest-paid coach. He threatened retirement, and the threat clearly worked out in his favor. Since being hired by the Rams in 2017, Los Angeles has never finished below .500 and have won the NFC Championship twice.
2. Bill Belichick, $12.5 million
With six Super Bowl rings and 22 years of tenure with the New England Patriots, it makes sense that Belichick is near the highest salary for coaches. He also makes personnel decisions for the Patriots, including the draft, free agency and trades. Belichick is a three-time AP Coach of the Year and the all-time leader in playoff wins by a coach.
3. Pete Carroll, $11 million
The Seattle Seahawks’ head coach since 2010, Carroll has led the team to the postseason nine times in 11 years. Seattle won Super Bowl XLVIII over the Broncos before losing to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX the following year. The 70-year-old Carroll is the NFL’s oldest head coach, but his latest contract extension runs through 2025.
4. Kyle Shanahan, $9.5 million
Shanahan is routinely discussed with the league’s best coaches. The San Francisco 49ers have been bitten by injuries to key players almost every season, but the team made the Super Bowl in 2019 and lost to the eventual-champion Rams in 2021. Now, it’s time to see what Shanahan can do with 2021 No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance at quarterback.
5. John Harbaugh, $9 million
Hired in 2009, Harbaugh has just two losing seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He won Super Bowl LXVII in February 2013 against his brother Jim and the San Francisco 49ers. Recently, he transformed the Ravens’ offense as they moved from pocket passer Joe Flacco to dual-threat Lamar Jackson.
6. Frank Reich, $9 million
Going from Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett to Philip Rivers to Carson Wentz to Matt Ryan in five years isn’t as easy as Reich has made it look at times. He has guided the Colts to a 37-28 record in his first four seasons with one playoff win, as the veteran Ryan takes the reins under center in 2022.
7. Matt Rhule, $8.5 million
It took a lot of money for the Carolina Panthers to poach Rhule away from Baylor University in 2020. The 46-year-old Rhule signed a seven-year deal with the Panthers, but he could already be on the hot seat after two uninspiring seasons (10-23 record). Carolina would have to eat a lot of dead money if it decides to move on from Rhule.
8. Mike Tomlin, $8 million
Now entering his 16th season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tomlin is one of the top coaches in the NFL. He’s never finished below .500, leading the Steelers to the playoffs in 10 of 15 seasons and making the Super Bowl twice. Tomlin won the Super Bowl in just his second season, but he hasn’t won a playoff game since 2016.
9. Andy Reid, $8 million
Coming in at seventh on this list, Reid is a bargain for the Kansas City Chiefs. He could never win the big game until he found Patrick Mahomes, but he hasn’t squandered his opportunity with the NFL’s best quarterback since 2018, making four straight AFC title games and two Super Bowls. Entering his 10th season with the Chiefs after 14 years with the Philadelphia Eagles, Reid is among the NFL’s great offensive minds.
10. Sean McDermott, $8 million
The Bills’ franchise has completely transformed since McDermott was hired in 2017. Buffalo has made the postseason in four of the last five years after going 17 years without an appearance. With McDermott and Josh Allen leading the way, the Bills seem poised to compete for a Super Bowl over the next several years.
11. Ron Rivera, $7 million
Riverboat Ron signed a five-year contract with the Washington Commanders prior to 2020. Washington won the NFC East in Rivera’s first season at 7-9 before going 7-10 and missing the postseason in 2021. His $7 million salary was earned after nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers, where he led them to a Super Bowl appearance in 2015.
12. Nick Sirianni, $6-7 million
Many questioned the Philadelphia Eagles’ decision to hire Sirianni in 2021, but he silenced the doubters by making the postseason as a rookie coach. The Eagles bowed out in the wild card round before making a handful of solid additions in the 2022 offseason, giving Sirianni and Co. high expectations for the coming season.
13. Kliff Kingsbury, $5.5 million
Despite finishing below .500 in six seasons at Texas Tech, Kingsbury was hired to lead the Cardinals in 2019. Paired with rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, the Cardinals have steadily improved since going 5-10-1 in Kingsbury’s first season. Arizona was 8-8 in 2020 and 11-6 in 2021 before losing to the Rams in the playoffs. He signed a contract extension through 2027 after making his first postseason appearance.
14. Matt LaFleur, $5 million
A disciple from the McVay coaching tree, LaFleur has had similar success early in his career. The Green Bay Packers won 13 games in each of his first three seasons, losing in the NFC title game in 2020 and 2021. Now, the challenge for the 42-year-old coach is getting his team over the hump.
15. Robert Saleh, $5 million
A second-year coach with the New York Jets, Saleh is already making more money than plenty of veteran coaches. He spent four seasons as defensive coordinator with the 49ers before joining the Jets, going 4-13 in 2021. The Jets haven’t had a winning season since 2015, and it’s up to the 43-year-old Saleh to turn things around.
16. Zac Taylor, $4.5 million
Another McVay disciple, the 38-year-old Taylor was hired by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2019 when he was still the age of some players. He struggled through his first two seasons, going 6-25-1, but made the Super Bowl in 2021 with help from franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. Taylor signed an extension through 2026 after the latest playoff run.
17. Mike McCarthy, $4 million
The Dallas Cowboys hired McCarthy in 2020 after he spent 13 seasons with the Packers. Many believed McCarthy should’ve gotten more out of the Aaron Rodgers era, but he did win 10 playoff games and Super Bowl XLV. It’s unexpected to see Jerry Jones’ coach this low on the list, especially after the team went 12-5 in 2021.
18. Nathaniel Hackett, $4 million
After coaching under LaFleur in Green Bay for three seasons, Hackett has a chance to run his own team in Denver. The Broncos have a contending roster, which is now led by Russell Wilson. Hackett could have an immediate opportunity to coach on the big stage in 2022.
19. Kevin Stefanski, $3.5 million
Stefanski has established himself as one of the most forward-thinking coaches in football. He was AP Coach of the Year in 2020, bringing the Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Cleveland went 8-9 in a disappointing 2021 season before trading for Deshaun Watson. At just 40 years old, Stefanski could put an end to the Browns’ perpetual coaching carousel.
Unknown (13 coaches)
- Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans, fifth year
- 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