Super Bowl LVI’s two head coaches have a history with one another. So, who’s got the bigger contract and who is producing the most value? Let’s look into the details.
Just over five years ago, Sean McVay ascended to the head coaching role with the Los Angeles Rams at the ripe age of 30. He quickly became the NFL’s prototypical coaching prodigy and the kingmaker for a rising tide of assistants who have gone on to become coordinators and head coaches in their own right.
One of those coaches is Zac Taylor, McVay’s former quarterbacks coach in LA — and now, his opposite number in Super Bowl LVI as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.
These two have more than a little in common as former colleagues under the age of 40 with No. 1 overall draft picks at quarterback. But if we were out to determine which coach is ultimately creating more value for his team, we shouldn’t just look at their win-loss accomplishments. We ought to take a look at how much the Rams and Bengals are getting out of their boss men compared to their salary figures.
Let’s talk head coach ROI.
Sean McVay’s Salary & Contract Details
Contract length: 5 years (signed extension in 2019)
Contract expires: 2024
2021 salary: $8.5 million
McVay is (somehow) still the youngest coach in the NFL, but his $8.5 million salary is top-five in the NFL among those whose compensation packages are publicly known (for 2021, that amounts to 23 coaches out of 32). His deal runs through the 2023 season, but even if the Rams fall short on Super Bowl Sunday, you’ve got to think that Stan Kroenke and Co. will extend the phenom once again.
Zac Taylor’s Salary & Contract Details
Contract length: 3 years
Contract expires: 2022
2021 salary: $4.5 million
Zac Taylor wasn’t supposed to get this far, this quickly. He took on quite a project when he left the familiarity of McVay’s LA staff to take the helm in Cincy, but what he’s done in just a couple short years (with some serious assists from standouts like Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Trey Hendrickson) is eye-popping. A notable salary bump is absolutely coming.
Sean McVay vs. Zac Taylor: The Tale of the Tape
Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Career record: 16-32
Division titles: 1
Conference titles: 1
Home town: Norman, Oklahoma
College: Wake Forest (2002–03), Butler Community College (2004), Nebraska (2005–06)
Previous job: Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach
Team: Los Angeles Rams
Career record: 55-26
Division titles: 3
Conference titles: 2
Home town: Dayton, Ohio
College: Miami (OH)
Previous job:Washington Commanders offensive coordinator
Where Do McVay and Taylor’s Salaries Rank Among NFL Head Coaches?
1. Bill Belichick (NE): $12.5 million
2. Pete Carroll (SEA): $11 million
3. Sean Payton (NO) $9.8 million
- Payton resigned following the 2021 regular season.
4. John Harbaugh (BAL): $9 million
t-5. Matt Rhule (CAR): $8.5 million
t-5. Sean McVay (LAR): $8.5 million
t-7. Bruce Arians (TB): $8 million
t-7. Andy Reid (KC): $8 million
t-7. Mike Tomlin (PIT): $8 million
10. Ron Rivera (WAS): $7 million
11. Kiliff Kingsbury (ARI): $5.5 million
t-12. Vic Fangio (DEN): $5 million
- Fangio was fired following the 2021 regular season.
t-12. Joe Judge (NYG): $5 million
- Judge was fired following the 2021 regular season.
t-12. Matt LaFleur (GB): $5 million
t-12. Robert Saleh (NYJ): $5 million
16. Frank Reich (IND): $4.5 million
17. Zac Taylor (CIN): $4.5 millon
18. Mike McCarthy (DAL): $4 million
19. Mike Zimmer (MIN): $4 million
- Zimmer was fired following the 2021 regular season.
20. Kevin Stefanski (CLE): $3.5 million
21. Kyle Shanahan (SF): $3.5 million
22. Mike Vrabel (TEN): $3 million
23. Brian Flores (MIA): $3 million
- Flores was fired following the 2021 regular season.
Salaries not publicly known: Don Campbell (DET), David Culley (HOU, fired following regular season), first-year Sean McDermott (BUF),Urban Meyer (JAX), Matt Nagy, (CHI),Nick Sirianni (PHI),Arthur Smith (ATL) Brandon Staley (LAC)