Deion Sanders Salary, Contract, Net Worth, and More

The details of Deion Sanders salary and contract highlights the price of returning the Colorado Buffaloes football program to national relevance.

The University of Colorado made college football waves in December 2022, hiring former FSU legend, College Football Hall of Famer, and enigmatic analyst Deion Sanders as the head coach of the Buffaloes. Hiring the 2021 FCS Head Coach of the Year was a move designed to rejuvenate the program, and Sanders’ salary, contract, and net worth showcase the price of that desire.

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Deion Sanders Salary and Contract in 2023

Following the official announcement that the former Jackson State head coach would take over the helm at Colorado, details of Sanders’ salary and contract quickly began to emerge. Understandably, it cost the Buffaloes a pretty penny to lure the former FSU standout to Boulder, with Sanders signing a five-year deal worth up to $29.5 million in salary alone.

For the 2023 college football season, one that Colorado got off to an electric start in by defeating national championship runner-up TCU in Fort Worth, Sanders’ salary is $5.5 million. Like many college football head coach contracts, the Buffaloes’ new leader earns a relatively small base salary that is boosted to the $5.5 million mark by a series of supplemental incomes.

The breakdown for Sanders’ salary in 2023 is detailed below:

  • $500,000 in base salary
  • $1.75 million for radio, television, and public appearances
  • $1.75 million for promotion and fundraising
  • $1.5 million for the development of the student-athlete

While he’s only been a college football head coach for the past two seasons, it appears to have been an easy decision to justify Sanders’ salary and contract. Colorado hasn’t been nationally relevant for many years, but the appointment of the enigmatic head coach has thrust the Buffaloes into the national spotlight, and early signs indicate that the on-field product is set to match.

“Deion Sanders’ stature transcends sports, and his hiring elevates not only the football program but the university as a whole,” CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano enthused in the official announcement of Sanders’ hiring back in Dec. 2022.

MORE: Why is Deion Sanders Called Coach Prime? 

“I’m thankful Deion has chosen to join our Buffalo family, and I applaud Rick George for a truly inspired choice. This is an exciting new chapter in the long, storied history of Colorado football, and I look forward to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our students, supporters, and fans to cheer on ‘Coach Prime’ and our student-athletes next fall.”

While he’ll earn $5.5 million in 2023, Sanders’ salary increases incrementally through the life of his contract. His annual salary will increase by $200,000 each year of the five-year deal.

The year-by-year breakdown of what the Colorado head coach will earn is below:

  • $5.5 million in 2023
  • $5.7 million in 2024
  • $5.9 million in 2025
  • $6.1 million in 2026
  • $6.3 million in 2027

Those numbers are set in stone…for now. Sanders has a clause in his contract that triggers a negotiation period following the third year—the end of the 2025 college football season. At that time, the Colorado head coach can negotiate an extension, with the option to change the base and supplemental salary, liquidated damages, and termination conditions.

Speaking of which, if Colorado opts to terminate Sanders for performance, it’ll cost them a pretty penny. The Buffaloes will be on the hook for 75% of Sanders’ remaining contract value. If he opts to leave, he’ll pay the program $15 million after the 2023 season, $10 million after 2024, $8 million after 2025, and $5 million in the final two years of his current deal.

Sanders’ Net Worth

Under the terms of his current five-year contract, Sanders has a net worth of $29.5 million. That, however, doesn’t include the substantial amount he’s earned as a player and analyst prior to his coaching career.

It also doesn’t account for several additional payments, such as a comprehensive incentive package as listed below:

  • $750,000 if Colorado wins the College Football National Championship
  • $450,000 if Colorado plays in a New Year’s Six bowl game
  • $150,000 if Colorado is bowl-eligible (non-NY6)
  • $150,000 if Colorado wins six games in a single season
  • $150,000 if Colorado wins the Pac-12 Championship
  • $150,000 if Sanders is the National Coach of the Year
  • $100,000 for each win following the sixth win of a season
  • $75,000 if Colorado plays in the Pac-12 Championship Game
  • $75,000 if Sanders is the Pac-12 Coach of the Year

In addition to financial incentives for on-field accomplishments, Sanders’ contract also features a salary boost for helping achieve academic success during his time as the Colorado head coach.

  • $50,000 if Colorado achieves a team APR of at least 954 in the first year of Sanders’ contract. For subsequent seasons, the team must earn an APR of 965

The Colorado head coach also received $20,000 for moving expenses and will receive $200,000 annually to cover the cost of a private jet for the purposes of recruiting. Given his success in that arena during his relatively short time as a college football head coach, it can be viewed as money well spent.

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