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Determining Sean McDermott’s value for the Bills



With so much attention being given to the monetary value of individual players, I wanted to take a look at the other side of the football operations. Specifically, the salary of Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott. It is important to remember that head coach and front office salaries do not impact the salary cap. The only thing those salaries impact is Terry and Kim’s pocketbook.

The Contract

If you recall, last August the Bills extended McDermott through the 2025 season. At the time, some questioned the relatively quick extension, wanting to see another playoff season from the first-time head coach. After a record-breaking 13-3 season, nobody is doubting why the extension was given and everyone is thrilled to have McDermott locked up long-term.

Unsurprisingly, and in classic “close to the vest” Sean McDermott form, no numbers were leaked for his extension that was signed late last summer. I came up empty after scouring the internet for his salary figures. In the absence of the real numbers, what better to do than have fans debate how much McDermott should be paid? Let’s discuss.

Top 10 Current Head Coach Salaries

First, let’s take a look at the Top 10 NFL coach salaries. While teams rarely release this information themselves, these numbers are from Forbes, which is a highly reliable source for this topic.

1.Bill Belichick$12 million
2.Pete Carroll$11 million
3.Jon Gruden$10 million
4.Sean Payton$9.8 million
5.John Harbaugh$9 million
6.Matt Rhule$8.5 million
T6.Sean McVay$8.5 million
T8.Andy Reid$8 million
T8.Mike Tomlin$8 million
T8.Bruce Arians$8 million

Sean McDermott might very well be on the list, but there is currently no way of knowing with his contract details being kept private. Where should Sean McDermott fall on this list? There is no doubt that he is a Top 10 head coach and should be compensated as such. You would not get a complaint from me if his contract numbers were leaked and we found out McDermott makes $8 million a season. While he lacks the Super Bowl titles that the other three men who make $8 million have to their name, McDermott is worthy of a high salary for what he did to completely change the trajectory of this franchise for the better.

The Volatility of Head Coach Salaries

Coaching salaries are difficult to predict and one look at this list explains why. For example, there is nothing that Jon Gruden did to justify a $10 million a year salary, especially considering he hadn’t coached football in nine years (at the time of his hiring). Matt Rhule might turn out to be a fantastic football coach, but for the Panthers to give him $8.5 million a year while never having coached professionally is reckless. NFL owners did not appreciate the large contract given to Rhule, as it set a precedent of paying coaches top-tier money before they can make name for themselves. Like players during free agency, coaches know that if a team really wants them, they will pony up some serious cash to bring them on board.

So, what do we think Bills fans? How much would you put Sean McDermott’s value at? Should he be among the Top 10 paid NFL coaches? Sound off in the comments!