According to the folks at Forbes, there's a new No. 1 on the list of America's highest-paid coaches. Putting literal meaning into the phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder", New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton's new five-year, $40 million contract, awarded after his year-long NFL suspension, allowed him to unseat New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick atop the list.
Further cementing its place atop the American sports mountain, NFL coaches account for eight of the 10 spots on the list. Seven of the names are well-established coaches with 99 years of experience and a dozen Super Bowl experiences between them - and Chip Kelly.
Here is the full list, based on annual salaries according to Forbes:
1. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints: $8 million
2. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots: $7.5 million
Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs: $7.5 million
4. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks: $7 million
Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams: $7 million
Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics: $7 million
Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins: $7 million
8. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants: $6.67 million
9. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles: $6.5 million
10. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs: $6 million