While NFL players’ salaries and contracts are widely publicized, the nitty gritty information between NFL coaches and the teams is not often discussed.
Consider the contract of Bruce Arians of the newly minted Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I’m so happy for @BruceArians, a football lifer and delightful human who deserves all of this and all that it will bring him forevermore.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) February 8, 2021
How much does he make?
Head coaching salaries range from $3 million to $12 million, and Bruce now with Tampa Bay is earning reportedly $8 million per year.
Not surprisingly Bill Belichick is the top earner at $12 million.
It took a long time for Bruce to get to this point.
Let’s take a look back at his career.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) February 10, 2021
Arians is 68 years old; his career has been long and storied.
He got his start in coaching in the NCAA ranks in 1975.
Arians has spent 46 years on or around football; 15 years were at the college level.
He also had a brief 1 year “retirement” where he was a commentator for CBS Sports.
Only 7 years of his career has been spent in a head coaching role.
Many would argue that he was overlooked for head coaching roles for years and should have had an opportunity earlier.
The NFL could no longer ignore Arians’ work as interim head coach with the Indianapolis Colts in 2012.
In 2012, the Colts Coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia so Arians became the interim head coach and led the team to the playoffs.
Arians was named NFL Coach of the Year in 2012 for his work with the Colts; Pagano was on a leave of absence from September through the end of December so the Colts in 2012 were primarily Arians’ team.
Head coaching offers finally came.
In January 2013, Arians signed a 4 year contract with the Cardinals to be the franchise’s 40th head coach; the contract had a fifth year option.
He earned his first head coaching job at the age of 60.
Arians stayed with the Cardinals for four seasons until 2017.
Bruce Arians reportedly earned $5 million per year while he coached the Cardinals.
When he walked away in 2017 to retire, fans understood that he had suffered minor health issues and had a home on Lake Oconee in Georgia that he wanted to spend more time at.
The one year stint (2018) in broadcasting did not suit Arians.
He didn’t like the frequent travel, constantly moving in and out of the Atlanta airport to get to games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When the Buccaneers called him in 2019, Arians apparently believed he had more in the tank.
Arizona fans felt conflicted by his return thinking he was already done with the game.
Instead he ended up closer to his Georgia home and in a good situation with a young rising team.
There was also an Arizona connection in Tampa Bay.
The Bucs GM Jason Licht worked as an assistant in Arizona when Arians was there.
Draft picks were exchanged between the Cardinals and Buccaneers since Arians technically had one more year on his Cardinals’ contract.
The #Bucs are signing Bruce Arians to a 4-year deal with a fifth-yaer option, source said. Among the coaches Arians hopes to finalize deals with: Harold Goodwin as Run Game Coordinator/OLine, Byron Leftwich as Pass Game Coordinator and Clyde Christianson as QB coach.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 8, 2019
The Bucs sent a sixth round pick (2019 draft) to Arizona in exchange for a 7th round pick also in the 2019 draft.
So the stage was set, Arians was back in coaching.
In his second season back, he won the Super Bowl.
Bruce Arians is the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl and his mom is in the building to see it. That's awesome.
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) February 8, 2021
And he has set his sights on repeating.
Is #Bucs coach Bruce Arians coming back for 2021? “I ain't going anywhere. I'm trying to get two, and then we'll see."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 8, 2021