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Highest Paid NFL Coaches

The list of ten highest paid NFL coaches highlights the fact that it's not just the players who make money in the National Football League (American football) very well. Eager to know who are these NFL coaches who feature in this list, given below is more information about them.....
Everybody is eager to know how much NFL stars earn. In fact, there also exist some loyal fans who religiously keep a track of how much their favorite players earn. While everybody knows who the highest paid NFL player is, not many people can boast of knowing who the highest paid NFL coach is. Irrespective of whether it is American football or soccer, very few coaches bask in limelight like the players do. When deciding the coach and his salary, the team management takes into consideration his winning percentage, the performance of teams that he coached, Super Bowl wins to his credit, etc.

Top Ten Highest Paid NFL Coaches

It is very difficult to ascertain how much NFL coaches earn as such information is seldom made public. Even when contract signing takes place, most of the teams prefer to keep such financial details of the contract a secret. Basically, the salaries of NFL coaches are based on a contract system which can span for several years. For instance, Pete Carroll - who is the head coach for Seattle Seahawks today - has signed a $33 million five-year deal with the side, which means he will be roughly earning around $6.6 million every year. However, Carroll is not the highest earning NFL coach.

Rank Name Team Annual Salary
1 Bill Belichick New England Patriots $7.5 million
2 Mike Shanahan Washington Redskins $7 million
3 Pete Carroll Seattle Seahawks $6.7 million
4 Ken Whisenhunt Arizona Cardinals $5.75 million
4 Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers $5.75 million
6 Andy Reid Philadelphia Eagles $5.5 million
6 Mike McCarthy Green Bay Packers $5.5 million
8 Tom Coughlin New York Giants $5.25 million
9 Jack Del Rio Jacksonville Jaguars $5 million
10 Lovie Smith Chicago Bears $4.8 million

That was a list of the 10 highest earning NFL coaches - featuring Bill Belichick, the head coach for New England Patriots, at the top spot with $7.5 million. The journey has not really been easy for Belichick - who had to go through 15 seasons as assistant coach under Bill Parcells, five not-so-memorable seasons as the head coach for Cleveland Browns, and another four years as assistant coach under Parcells, to reach where he stands today. Belichicks golden phase began in 2000 when he was appointed the head coach for New England Patriots. Under his guidance, Patriots went on to win three Super Bowl titles. This stupendous performance earned him an extension with the Patriots in 2007 when he signed a six year contract with the team with an annual pay of $7.5 million - thus making him the highest paid NFL coach today.

Not far behind him are Mike Shanahan - the head coach for Washington Redskins, and his Seattle Seahawks counterpart - Pete Carroll. Mike Shanahan was appointed the head coach and Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Washington Redskins on 5th January, 2010. The $35 million five-year contract that he signed with the Redskins put him the second place in the list of highest earning coaches - with an annual pay of $7 million. At the third position we find Seattle Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll with an annual pay of $6.5 million as a result of his $33 million five-year contract with the Seahawks. Interestingly, Carroll was the head coach for New England Patriots before Belichick stepped in.

At the fourth position, we have a tie with two individuals - Ken Whisenhunt - the head coach for Arizona Cardinals, and Mike Tomlin - the head coach for Pittsburgh Steelers, earning a salary of $5.75 million a year. Ken Whisenhunt earned a $5.75 million per year contract with Arizona Cardinals when the team booked a place for itself in 2009 Super Bowl under his guidance. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlim - on the other hand, makes it to the fourth position in the list owing to the raise from $2.5 million per year to $5.75 million per year.

Yet another tie, with Andy Reid - the flamboyant head coach for Philadelphia Eagles, and Mike McCarthy - the head coach for Green Bay Packers, tied at number 6th position. Andy Reid - who has been the head coach for Eagles since 2009, signed an extension with the Eagles which has ensured that he will continue as their head coach till 2013 season for an annual pay amounting to $5.5 million. On the other hand, Green Bay Packers rewarded their head coach Mike McCarthy - who won them the Super Bowl 2011, with a three-year extension on 4th March, 2011. With a base value of $5.5 million, this contract has made McCarthy one of the ten highest paid coaches in the NFL.

At the 8th position in the list, we have Tom Coughlin the head coach for New York Giants whose $21 million four-year contract with the Giants earns him $5.25 million a year. It was Coughlin who won Giants the prestigious Super Bowl in 2009. Following in the list of highest paid coaches is Jack Del Rio, the head coach for Jacksonville Jaguars. In April 2008, Del Rio signed a five-year extension contract with the Jaguars as a result of which he earns $5 million a year today. Even though he is placed at the bottom of the list, the head coach for Chicago Bears - Lovie Smith earns a whopping $4.8 million a year.

If you thought those figures were astonishing, even more astonishing is the fact that four NFL coaches - Bill Belichick, Mike Shanahan, Pete Carroll and Ken Whisenhunt, feature in the list of highest paid coaches in different sports. With the average salary for a coach reaching $3.22 million, coaching is no more just a child's play - and that explains why people have begun looking at it as a serious profession of late.
By Abhijit Naik
Published: 3/10/2011
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