- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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2012 Forbes Salary Estimates
Harbaugh's three NFC West contemporaries made the list, with the St. Louis Rams' Jeff Fisher and the Seattle Seahawks' Pete Carroll earning a reported $7 million annually.
Coaches presumably do not make available their contracts or tax returns, so these listings qualify as unofficial. They are generally consistent with media reports, at least.
The Arizona Cardinals' Ken Whisenhunt checks in at tied for eighth ($5.8 million).
Note that the listings include sports beyond football, but not including hockey. Five of the 10 highest-paid coaches have won championships: Bill Belichick, Mike Shanahan, Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich and Mike Tomlin.
Harbaugh, who promoted a blue-collar culture complete with work shirts last season, reportedly earns $5 million per season. That would rank Harbaugh among the higher-paid coaches in the NFL, but with 14 regular-season and postseason victories last season, the price tag has been a bargain to this point.
Carroll and Fisher would have to produce 19.6 victories in a season to match the $357,142-per-victory average for Harbaugh. Whisenhunt would have to produce 16.2 victories.
The San Francisco 49ers' Jim Harbaugh, known to walk past the first-class cabin to his seat in coach, should be relieved to have missed Forbes' list of 10 highest-paid coaches.