NFL coaches make a yearly salary anywhere from $400k to $15 million a season due to their track record, experience, and more. Like NFL players, their contracts get structured in a way that can often help them earn more. So, their earning potential is relatively high, and their position on the team is one of the most crucial to the success of a franchise for years to come.
So, are NFL coaching jobs guaranteed? Who are some of the highest earners for NFL coaching? How much do other coaches make on a Football team during the season? Is it possible for coaches on a football team to earn more from bonuses?
Below we will discuss NFL coaches’ salaries and more!
What is the Average Salary of an NFL Coach?
The average annual salary of an NFL coach is 7 million dollars. As mentioned, though, in the beginning, that number can be subject to change based on several factors. Factors that can contribute to a higher or lower salary are experience, track record, and relationship with the front office.
Who is the Highest Paid NFL Coach?
Bill Belichick was the highest-paid NFL coach for many years, but he has recently fallen on the list. In 2022, Los Angeles rams coach Sean McVay is number one with his annual salary of 15-18 million dollars a year. Bill Belichick is now second on the list, followed by Pete Carroll of the Seattle seahawks. After that, you got John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, and Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers to round out the top five.
What Makes a Coach More Valuable in Football?
A coach is judged not only on their team’s performance but also on the culture they help to build. If an NFL head coach is a part of a winning team but has not done enough to create a rich culture, they could be easily let go. Many coaching decisions are left in the hands of the owners as well, so maintaining a good relationship with the owner could ensure longevity.
Bill Belichick has a good relationship with the New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft. Combine that with the winning culture he built, and his job is all but guaranteed year after year. However, that is not always the case for other coaches in the league.
Are NFL Coaching Jobs Guaranteed?
Most NFL coaching jobs are not guaranteed; some coaches are even let go midseason if the team’s executives disagree with the team’s direction. Teams like the Cleveland Browns or the New York Jets have spent years and countless millions hoping to find the right coach only to fire them midseason over the past few years. In 2021, Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders had to step down due to pressure from the front office for comments he made in the past.
At the end of the regular season, one of the most extensive discussions on ESPN is which coach will get fired and their potential replacement. Unfortunately, so many factors play into being an NFL coach that no coaching job is a guarantee.
How Much Do Assistant Coaches Make in the NFL?
Today, according to Yahoo Finance, assistant coaches make approximately $400k a season. However, specific assistant coaches can make more or less depending on their skill level and experience.
Assistant coaches primarily serve the coach on the team to execute their strategy. For instance, the assistant coach might work directly with the offensive and defense coordinators to communicate the plan and report on any occurring issues.
Finally, there are instances where the assistant head coach will take over the head coaches’ responsibilities when something happens to them on game day. For example, a coach who gets an ejection or can’t make the game because they are sick will have the assistant coach run the show.
How Much Do the Offensive / Defensive Coordinators Make?
Suppose they are strictly a coordinator and have no additional tag with their position. In that case, a defensive coordinator will average around 900,000 dollars, while the offensive coordinator will average a million each season. An offensive coordinator will often make more than a defensive coordinator as some would see the team’s offensive capabilities as more critical than their defensive capabilities. However, that is not always the case.
Some fans see offensive and defensive coordinators as the most critical positions after the head coach on a team. Therefore, it is not unusual to see an offensive or defensive coordinator act as an assistant coach during a game. They and the head coach help formulate defensive and offensive game plans, going as far as actually to call plays during the game.
Can Coaches Earn Bonuses During the Season?
Football coaches earn a comfortable base salary perspective, but the real money comes with their bonuses. A coach more than a player will have bonuses based on the team’s overall performance; some coaches have a win quota, and even if that quota does not get their team to the playoffs, they still receive bonuses.
Can NFL Coaches Earn Bonuses in the Playoffs?
When it comes to the playoffs, almost all NFL coaches receive a bonus if their team qualifies. That money only goes up if they make it to the Super Bowl, especially if they are coaches with a reputation for winning super bowls like Andy Reid or Sean Payton. Some of the highest-paid coaches in NFL history have been the ones who won the most super bowls.
Conclusion: How Much Do NFL Coaches Make?
NFL coaches make a good living off their salaries, and with bonuses and incentives, the opportunity to make more money only increases. A football team will give out more cash to coaches just like players because they know how important they can be for a team. Sometimes they will look to college football for a cheaper coach and one who can better relate to a younger group, like Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona cardinal.
For an NFL team to be successful, they need to have a good coach. As a result, coaches like Ron Rivera, Bruce Arian, or Mike Tomlin can often hold on to their job or find new ones quickly. This breeze in the hiring market is because they not only have winning records but a reputation for working well with players and building a good culture which is often more important than anything else.
However, one thing to understand is that there is usually no guaranteed job for an NFL coach. Teams at any point can get rid of a coach during the season, which is also the case for players.