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Eight NFL coaches earn salaries topping $6 million

Sean Payton

FILE - This Dec. 26, 2011 file photo shows New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans. The NFL has suspended Payton for the 2012 season, and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is banned from the league indefinitely because of the team’s bounty program that targeted opposing players. Also Wednesday, March 21, 2012, Goodell suspended Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games of 2012, and assistant coach Joe Vitt has to sit out the first six games. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza, File)


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.