Saints coach Sean Payton is reportedly set to make more than $8 million a season when he returns to the sidelines. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images Sport)
Suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is set to become the NFL's highest paid coach, making more than $8 million a season when he returns to the sidelines, reports ESPN.com.
On Friday, Payton agreed in principle to a five-year deal to come back with the Saints after his league mandated suspension for having a role in the Saints bounty scandal ends in February after the Super Bowl. The contract has not been approved by the league and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Last season, Goodell refused to sign off on an agreement between the Saints and Payton because of a clause that permitted Payton to leave the franchise if general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended, fired or left his front office position.
Payton would have been the most coveted available coach in the NFL if the Saints and league office had allowed him to become a free agent.
Earlier this year, Forbes Magazine estimated that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick makes $7.5 million a year.
Payton has a 62-34 record in six seasons as the Saints head coach, including a Super Bowl victory after the 2009 season.