The financial terms of Belichick's contract, which runs through 2013, have been closely guarded, but Forbes pegs him at $7.5 million annually.
Perhaps reflecting a coach's importance when he has fewer players to manage, the Forbes list includes six NBA coaches, along with four NFL coaches. That leaves no room for baseball or the NHL.
The other three NFL coaches represent two in new jobs and the longest-tenured.
Tied for third at $7 million are Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and new Seattle Seahawks (and formerly of the Patriots and New York Jets) coach Pete Carroll. Tennessee Titans lifer Jeff Fisher is eighth at $5.75 million.
Given his popularity, you have to wonder how long until Rex Ryan makes the list.
In a related Forbes analysis, the Patriots ranked 10th on the list of most valuable sports brands in the world. Forbes estimated their brand value -- defined as "the portion of a team's overall value that is derived from its name as opposed to its market and league" -- at $156 million.
Take away the five European soccer teams and they ranked fifth behind the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets.