The Highest-Paid Coaches in the NFL
Coach Bill Belichick

NFL coaches often don't make as much as the men who play for them. In fact, even some of the players they have to send packing make more.

Take Chandler Jones, an outside linebacker for the Patriots traded in 2016 to the Arizona Cardinals following a bizarre incident in which he sought help at the local police station after a bad batch of synthetic pot. Jones makes $3 million more now with the Cardinals than the coach who sent him packing, Bill Belichick.

And Belichick, with five Super Bowls under his belt in New England, is the NFL's highest paid coach.

Still, it's hard to argue that coaches in the NFL are just scraping by, with several earning millions each year to craft plays and strategy and lead their teams to victory.

It helps to have won a Super Bowl - eight of the top 10 best paid NFL coaches have either one Super Bowl under their belt or have at least gotten their team to the big game.

That said, winning every season isn't a prerequisite either, with coaches on the highest paid list having turned in stinker 8-8 and 7-9 seasons.

But at a time when professional sports salaries are extravagant by any measure, it's hard to argue that NFL coaches don't earn their money in one of the most pressure-filled jobs around.

With a few exceptions, if you don't win, you can expect to pack your bags at the end of the season.

While player salaries can be found easily in the public domain, the salaries of NFL coaches are more closely held, with most salaries listed as estimates.

Here's the top 10 as ranked by sites including the Bleacher Report, TouchdownWire and Forbes.

  1. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

Since taking over what was then a struggling franchise in 2000, Belichick has compiled the best record in the league, 214-74, for a .743 winning percentage. He has led the Pats to eight Super Bowl appearances, winning five of them. Estimates by ESPN and local sports broadcasters peg his salary between $10 million and $12.5 million a year. Don't look for Belichick to comment on this, though, with the future Hall of Fame coach noted for his terse, no-nonsense, say-nothing-unless-it-is-absolutely-necessary - and even then say less - approach to talking with the press.

  1. Jon Gruden, Oakland Raiders

The now former ESPN broadcaster recently inked a 10-year, $100 million deal with the Super Bowl hungry Raiders, who are preparing to move to Las Vegas next year. While Gruden has been away from coaching for a decade, he had a relatively successful run with the Raiders from 1998 to 2001, after which he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in 2002.

  1. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks

The always smiling and unfailingly upbeat Carroll may be the nicest guy to coach a pro-football team. But if you were pulling down $9 million a year, you would have lots to smile about as well. Carroll, who has led the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances and one victory, is under contract with the team through 2020.

  1. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints

Led by Payton, a master offensive strategist, and quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints won their first Super Bowl in 2010. Payton, who has also amassed six winning seasons and two NFC South titles during his 12-year tenure, earns $9 million a year coaching the Saints.

  1. Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers

Rivera hit the jackpot in 2015, winning coach of the year and almost running the table with a nearly perfect regular season. The Panthers made it to the Super Bowl that year as well, only to lose to the Denver Broncos as Peyton Manning played his last game. Rivera recently inked a $7.75 million a year deal that will take him through 2020.

  1. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

Andy Reid is one of only two coaches among the 10 highest paid not to have made it to the Super Bowl with his team (Reid's 2004 Philadelphia Eagles made the big game but lost to the Patriots). That said, Reid, who makes $7.75 million a year, has had a big impact since arriving in KC, leading the team to two division titles and ensuring the Chiefs are a contender every year.

  1. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

Tomlin has led the Steelers to two Super Bowls, winning one, since taking over as head coach of the Steelers in 2007. Tomlin has one of the best records in the league during his time as Pittsburgh's head coach, compiling a .659 winning percentage with a record of 116-60. Tomlin signed a $7-million-a-year contract extension in 2015, which will take him through the upcoming 2018 season.

  1. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

At 10-5, Harbaugh has the second-best playoff record in the NFL, second only to Bill Belichick. Harbaugh has a .590 winning percentage since taking over the Ravens in 2008 and has led his team twice to the Super Bowl, winning once. Harbaugh last year signed a contract extension that will take him through 2019. His last reported salary number was $7 million.

  1. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

The Packers went 7-9 last year, but McCarthy still managed to get a one-year contract extension through the upcoming season. Entering his 13th season with the Packers, McCarthy, with more than a little help from Aaron Rodgers, his brilliant quarterback, has won one Super Bowl, with 10 playoff wins and a 131-78-1 record. His salary is pegged at $6 million by Money Inc.

  1. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

Garrett has slowly turned the Cowboys around since taking over as head coach in 2010. The team has had a winning record three of the last four years, going 13-3 in 2016. No Super Bowls yet, though. Garrett inked a $30 million, five-year contract in 2015 that pays him $6 million a year.

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