Bill Belichick is not only one of the most respected coaches in American sports, he’s also one of the highest-paid. He’s no longer the highest-paid, however; that title now belongs to Saints head coach Sean Payton.
Despite being suspended for the entirety of the 2012 season in the wake of the “Bountygate” scandal, Payton signed a five-year contract extension in December that will pay him $8 million per year — the highest yearly salary of any coach in the four major sports.
Belichick, who makes an estimated $7.5 million per year coaching the Patriots, had topped Forbes’ list of the highest-paid coaches in America in each of the last two years, but he dropped into a tie for second in the 2013 edition released Wednesday. Matching Belichick is new Chiefs boss Andy Reid, whose five-year deal in Kansas City is also worth a reported $7.5 million annually.
As expected, the vast majority of Forbes’ list is populated by NFL coaches, who occupy eight of the top 10 spots.
One of the two outliers also operates in Massachusetts, though, as Celtics head coach Doc Rivers comes in at No. 7. That Rivers, who pulls in $7 million a year, would return to the Boston bench this fall was somewhat of an uncertainty entering the offseason, but Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge indicated last week that the 2008 championship-winning coach will indeed return for the 2013-14 season.