Sports | March 9, 2021 11:46 am

Report: Bill Belichick and Patriots Paid Some Coaches Just $15K

Ex-New England coach Bret Bielema’s lawsuit in Arkansas continues to leak details about the team

Filing: Bill Belichick and Patriots Paid Some Coaches Just $15K
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.
Maddie Meyer/Getty

Former New England coach Bret Bielema’s ongoing legal battle in Arkansas with The Razorback Foundation continues to lead details the Patriots organization would probably like to keep secret to leak out.

As part of a new court filing related to Bielema’s battle with the fundraising arm of the University of Arkansas’ athletic department over the former Razorback head coach’s $11.935 million buyout, information about the amount New England pays some of its coaches was brought to light.

When Bielema went to work for the Patriots under head coach Bill Belichick following his exit from Arkansas, he was paid $25,000 to serve as a consultant and later earned salaries of $100,000 and $250,000 in full-time roles, according to Sportico.

While the Razorback Foundation is arguing Bielema was underpaid during his time with the Patriots, the former Arkansas coach’s attorney Tom Mars makes the case Belichick — who reportedly makes north of $20 million annually —  and New England owner Kraft believed they were overpaying Bielema based on what they had given other experienced coaches in the past.

“Bielema, who had just been fired by a college program, lacked any NFL coaching experience when the Patriots hired him,” according to Sportico. “Mars contends the Patriots normally pay new coaches without NFL experience between $15,000 and $65,000 a year—not the $100,000 that Bielema would be paid.”

While there’s no allegation the Patriots did anything illegal or against NFL rules by offering such low salaries, it is perhaps not the best optics given what Belichick, who has hired both of his sons as assistant coaches, makes per year.

Though more details about the inner workings of the Patriots organization may be revealed thanks to Bielema’s legal battle, a recent ruling by Judge P.K. Holmes III in the Western District of Arkansas to keep four emails between Belichick and Kraft in 2018 and 2019 that discuss their coaches’ compensation private is a big blow to those who want dirt on the team.

In a February filing, New England’s lawyers argued the emails between Belichick and Kraft “contain competitively sensitive and personal information — including compensation paid to another member of the team’s coaching staff” and that the team “would suffer competitive and commercial harm if this information is made publicly available.”