NFL Teams Pay Average of $5 Million/Year To Fired Coaches

Published on June 20th, 2024 5:22 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

A closer look into the coaching contracts in the National Football league (NFL). Here is a point that has been brought up by a number of NFL players:

Coaching contracts are fully guaranteed - player contracts are not.

The NFL's 32 teams pay an average of $160 million per year to fired coaches that are still collecting on their contracts.

This works out to an average of $5 million per team per year.


When a coach is fired, teams owe the entirety of the money that is left on the contract.

There is usually offset language in the contract - meaning, if a fired coach gets a job somewhere else, the salary from their new job will be subtracted from the annual salary that is owed to them from their previous team.

So, if a coach is owed $15 million a year for the next four years, and they get a new job that pays them $8 million per year, the team that fired them will only owe $7 million per year.

Fired coaches are also expected to put in a good faith effort to find new employment.

Let's take a look at an example.

In January of 2022, Josh McDaniels was signed by the Las Vegas Raiders to be their new head coach.

The Raiders reportedly paid him $10 million per year, and the length of the contract was 6 years.

After two years with the team, McDaniels was fired.


With a typical player's contract, a team can choose to part ways with the player anytime that they want. In most cases, the contract is not guaranteed.

In the case of the McDaniels contract, however, the Raiders owe their fired head coach $10 million for the next four years.

The Raiders will hope for an offset, but if McDaniels can't find a job, they'll be on the hook for the full amount.


In total, fired coaching contracts cost NFL teams $160 million per year.

As coaching contracts continue to soar in value, the amount that NFL teams pay to fired coaches will continue to climb as well.

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