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Payton replaces Belichick as highest-paid U.S. coach

The SportsXchange

Sean Payton has taken over the title as America's highest-paid coach.

Payton, coach of the New Orleans Saints, will make approximately $8 million per year for the next five seasons as part of a new contract. He replaces New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick atop the Forbes list.

Belichick is now tied for second with new Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Though Reid's salary figures were not officially announced, it's esimated that the former Philadelphia Eagles coach's annual compensation is in the $7.5 million-per-year range with the Chiefs.

NFL coaches hold eight of the top-10 spots in the rankings. The only coaches outside the NFL on the list are Boston's Boc Rivers ($7 million) and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich ($6 million).

The only other NBA coaches who top $4 million annually are Chicago's Tom Thibodeau and Oklahoma City's Scott Brooks.

Newcomers to the overall top 10 this year are Payton, Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants and Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles. Coughlin is working with a three-year, $20 million extension he received last summer and Kelly is in his first year of a five-year, $32.5 million contract after leaving the University of Oregon earlier this year.

Falling out of the top 10 were Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith and former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt.

The average salary of coaches on the list is close to $7 million a year, an increase from $6.45 million in 2012.

The Forbes list is confined to American professional and college coaches. The highest paid college coach, Alabama's Nick Saban at $5.3 million per year, did not crack the top 10.

If international soccer coaches were included, they would dominate the top 10.
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