Sean Payton Not Closing Door on NFL Coaching Return: ‘If There’s a Right Fit Somewhere’

by Nick Geddes

It feels inevitable that Sean Payton will be roaming the sidelines with a headset on in the future.

Which team’s logo will Payton be sporting on his visor? Well, that remains to be seen. One thing’s for certain, and that’s that Payton won’t be on any sideline during the 2022 season. He’ll instead be in a broadcast booth or studio– striking a deal this offseason to be a part of FOX’s NFL coverage.

But as for 2023, it’s very possible Payton is back, just as long as the destination makes sense.

“Ultimately, do I think I’ll get back in? Sure,” Payton said, via Jarrett Bell of USA Today Sports. “There’s no way to predict who that club might be. Usually, there are about six openings every year. If there’s a right fit somewhere, that ultimately will depend on several factors.”

Sean Payton Stepped Down from Coaching After 25 Years of Success in NFL

Sean Payton, 58, stepped down as New Orleans Saints head coach in January after 15 seasons at the helm. He accumulated a 152-89 record over his tenure, earning the reputation as one of the best head coaches in football. Payton led New Orleans to a Super Bowl XLIV victory over the Indianapolis Colts and seven NFC South titles.

Payton decided to walk away, although one team was courting him heavily. That would be the Miami Dolphins and team owner Stephen Ross. CBS Sports John Breech reported last week that Miami was ready to offer Payton a five-year, $100 million deal. The Saints, however, wouldn’t allow Payton to get out of his deal before its expiration date.

The Saints retain the rights to Payton through 2024. Any team that wants Payton must directly negotiate a deal with New Orleans. Per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Payton is believed to have his eye on three teams: the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, and Dolphins.

For now, Payton’s priorities will be elsewhere as he enters the second phase of his career.

“I’m really excited about FOX and working with the crew,” Payton said. “It’s going to be a great experience. I’m looking forward to being on the other side.”