Cole clarifies that Payton isn’t necessarily interested in leaving the Saints, but if either team makes a play for him, it’s possibly that he could entertain moving on.
According to Cole, it’s unlikely that Payton will be able to build the Saints around QB Drew Brees fast enough for them to compete for a Super Bowl title. Another issue referenced by Cole is that Payton may have concerns about the team’s ownership.
In order for Payton to leave New Orleans, Cole believes he’ll need to talk his way out his contract, given that he still has another two years remaining on his current deal. On top of that, there’s also the issue of compensation for the Saints parting ways with their head coach.
Yesterday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that multiple NFL teams, including the Dolphins and Colts, are expected to inquire about Payton’s availability after this season.
Payton is under contract through the 2017 season, and makes $8 million per year with this agreement. However, Schefter mentions that Payton’s contract will not deter teams from approaching the Saints about a potential deal.
It’s worth mentioning that Payton has ties to current Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell, who was promoted Monday after Miami fired Joe Philbin.
Although, you would have to think Payton would give strong consideration to the Colts’ heading coaching job if it were to be available, given that they have, arguably, the best young quarterback in the game.
Payton, 51, has lead the Saints to a record of 81-51 (61.3 percent) including their only Super Bowl title over the course of eight-plus seasons in New Orleans.