Miami Dolphins Reportedly Planned to Offer Sean Payton a $100 Million Contract to Be the Team’s Head Coach

by Patrick Norton

When Sean Payton stepped down from his position as head coach of the New Orleans Saints, it sent the NFL community into a frenzy as one of the most solidified gigs league-wide opened.

Payton, who held the reins in New Orleans for fifteen seasons, announced his retirement following a 9-8 finish in 2021; good enough for second place in the NFC South, but not enough to qualify for the postseason – missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

However, according to CBS Sports’ John Breech, retirement marked only the beginning of an eventful off-season for Payton. The Miami Dolphins reached out to Payton’s former employer to request permission to interview the recently-retired Super Bowl champion coach. Miami was denied permission, as New Orleans refused to release Payton from his contract prior to its expiration.

Miami’s ownership group, led by billionaire Stephen Ross, continued its pursuit of Payton, reportedly considering a contract offer of $100 million over the course of five years. This would’ve shattered the record for highest-paid coach held by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who signed a 10-year deal worth the same amount.

Instead, a lawsuit filed by Brian Flores – the coach the Dolphins fired to begin the offseason – quickly extinguished any real pressure applied by Ross on the Saints and Payton to create an appropriate arrangement.

Miami eventually opted to travel a less controversial path, hiring former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel to fill the head coaching vacancy.

Sean Payton’s Market Remains Hot, Yet Temporarily Closed

Sean Payton’s history is long and complex within the confines of the NFL. While considered one of the league’s best coaches in the last two decades, which includes a victory in Super Bowl XLIV against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, his legacy cannot mask one enormous blemish: Bountygate.

In 2011, the NFL discovered Payton and Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams organized a bounty scheme intended to compensate players for knocking opponents out of games with injuries. The scandal rocked the NFL world, resulted in Williams’ indefinite suspension from the league, and earned Payton a season-long suspension.

Whether the championship coach returns to the sideline or enjoys the golf course for the foreseeable future remains a massive question mark. But Payton’s likely not leaving the football world anytime soon, and has reportedly received significant interest from multiple outlets for in-studio NFL coverage.