Top 10 Highest-Paid NFL Head Coaches

Who are the highest-paid NFL head coaches? We're counting down the top 10 as the 2023 NFL season approaches.

Top 10 Highest-Paid NFL Head Coaches

Coaching means more in the NFL than in any other sport, and head coaches are at the top of the food chain. As organizations begin to realize the true value of an elite head coach, salaries are only expected to rise. Who are the highest-paid NFL head coaches heading into the 2023 season?

List of Highest-Paid NFL Coaches

While the NFL Players Association and salary cap websites like Over the Cap and Spotrac keep track of player earnings, tracing NFL head coach salaries can often be challenging. Still, reporting from outlets like Sportico and others have gauged what the league’s top head coaches are making.

There is no salary cap for NFL head coaches or their staff. While head coaching salaries are unlikely to keep pace with elite player salaries, coaching pay continues to increase. Let’s run through the top 10 highest-paid head coaches in the NFL, starting with arguably the greatest HC of all time.

1) Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

  • 2023 salary: $20 million

Bill Belichick doesn’t need to do anything else to cement his NFL legacy, and it makes sense that he’s the highest-paid coach in the league. Belichick has more Super Bowl wins (six) than any other head coach and ranks third on the all-time regular-season wins list. No coach has as many playoff wins as Belichick’s 31.

MORE: Top 10 NFL Head Coaches of All Time From Bill Belichick to Andy Reid

Belichick’s three post-Tom Brady seasons have been rocky, as the Patriots are just 25-25 since the GOAT departed New England. But Belichick, the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL by seven years, should have the opportunity to rebound before he ends his career on the sidelines.

2) Sean Payton, Denver Broncos

  • 2023 salary: $18 million

The Broncos needed to make a drastic change after their failed Nathaniel Hackett experiment, and shifting to a future Hall of Fame head coach in Sean Payton certainly qualifies as drastic. Denver sent a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick to the Saints in exchange for Payton’s rights and a 2024 third-round selection.

In February, NBC Sports’ Peter King reported that Payton’s new five-year deal is “in the neighborhood” of $18 million per year. For that payday, the Broncos expect Payton to revitalize Russell Wilson’s career and turn Denver back into a perennial contender.

3) Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks

  • 2023 salary: $15 million

The oldest head coach in the NFL, Pete Carroll couldn’t have played things any better in 2022. Instead of bottoming out after trading Wilson to the Broncos, the Seahawks used their newfound draft capital to revamp their roster while turning to Geno Smith under center.

Smith played like a back-end MVP candidate for most of the season, and Seattle made the playoffs for the 10th time in Carroll’s 12 seasons as head coach. Carroll is signed through the 2025 campaign and hasn’t given any indication that he’s nearing retirement.

4) Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams

  • 2023 salary: $14 million

After becoming a head coach at age 30, Sean McVay became the youngest NFL head coach (37) to win a Super Bowl when the Rams defeated the Bengals in 2022. Amazon reportedly offered McVay $100 million over five years to serve as a broadcaster, but he chose to stay in Los Angeles — and received a subsequent pay bump. McVay has made continuous noise about retirement, but he’ll be back on the sidelines next season.

5) Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

  • 2023 salary: $12.5 million

Since taking over as the Steelers’ head coach in 2007, Mike Tomlin has taken Pittsburgh to the postseason 10 times, won seven AFC North titles, and secured one Super Bowl trophy. He’s famously never posted a record below .500, repeatedly keeping the Steelers in contention until the end of each season. Tomlin may also be the best locker-room communicator in the NFL.

highest-paid nfl head coaches

T-6) Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

  • 2023 salary: $12 million

Andy Reid is arguably the best head coach in the NFL, so the Chiefs are getting a bargain by paying him just $12 million annually. Reid had plenty of success during his run with the Eagles, but he’s cemented his legacy by developing Patrick Mahomes and winning two Super Bowls in Kansas City. The only head coach to win 100 games with two franchises, Reid will be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame when he calls it quits.

T-6) John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

  • 2023 salary: $12 million

John Harbaugh got off to a blazing start after being hired as the Ravens’ head coach in 2008. Baltimore won a playoff game in each of Harbaugh’s first five seasons in charge and secured the Lombardi Trophy in 2012. He’s appeared in 19 playoff games since 2008, the second-most of any head coach during that stretch.

T-8) Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders

  • 2023 salary: $10 million

Josh McDaniels is not only the first head coach on our list without a Super Bowl ring but also the only one in the top 10 with a losing record. While McDaniels has experienced immense success as an offensive coordinator, he’s often appeared out of his depth as a head coach.

MORE: Who Is the Highest-Paid NFL Player in 2023?

McDaniels was fired in 2010 after two subpar seasons as the Broncos’ head coach. After a second stint as the Patriots’ play-caller, McDaniels caused more controversy by initially accepting, then rejecting, the Colts’ head coaching position in 2018. The Raiders posted a 6-11 record and finished third in the AFC West in McDaniels’ first season in Las Vegas.

T-8) Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers

  • 2023 salary: $10 million

Perhaps the best offensive mind in the NFL, Kyle Shananan won just 10 games over his first two seasons as the 49ers’ head coach. But he took San Francisco to the Super Bowl in 2019, narrowly losing to the Chiefs, and has appeared in each of the last two NFC title games.

As Shanahan continues navigating an uncertain quarterback situation, he will likely stick around in the Bay Area for the foreseeable future. The 49ers signed him to an extension after their Super Bowl appearance, putting Shanahan under contract in San Francisco through 2025.

10) Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans

  • 2023 salary: $9.5 million

Mike Vrabel seems to consistently coax results from lackluster rosters, and the Titans have posted winning records in four of his five seasons at the helm. He earned the NFL Coach of the Year award in 2021 after leading Tennessee to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Vrabel grabbed even more power within the organization when the Titans fired general manager Jon Robinson last year.


About the Author

Dallas Robinson
Dallas Robinson
Dallas Robinson is an NFL analyst for Pro Football Network. His work has previously appeared on a variety of outlets, including Pro Football Rumors, Digg, and USA Today's NFL Wire. He is based in the Twin Cities, where he lives with his wife and Shih Tzu.

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