Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, citing multiple sources, reports that Saints HC Sean Payton has been monitoring the Rams’ head coach job with “sincere interest” in the position.
However, Rapoport mentions that it would take some “significant maneuvering behind the scenes” for Payton to become the Rams’ next head coach. A source tells Rapoport that it’s possible, but it would require the Rams to determine that he’s their overwhelming No. 1 candidate.
Payton was connected to other jobs last year including the 49ers and Chargers but he ultimately agreed to a contract extension with the Saints.
Considering that the Saints haven’t been in the playoffs since 2013 and they’re paying Payton a large salary, Rapoport says it’s possible the team is tired of the whole situation and allow him to move on to a new job.
New Orleans would obviously want some compensation for Payton, but Rapoport says that it may not be all that much, especially if he really wants out.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard about the Saints possibly trading Payton in recent weeks.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports previously reports the Saints would consider trading Payton this offseason if there were interested teams. La Canfora also mentioned that the trading for Payton may not require much in terms of compensation either.
La Canfora says that the Saints are currently dealing with several issues regarding ownership and the possible structure of football operations moving forward.
By trading Payton, La Canfora mentions that the Saints would free up around $40 million. Beyond that, if the Saints were to part with QB Drew Brees, they could pick up another $25 million in cash/cap, which could aid a full rebuild of the franchise, according to La Canfora.
“I don’t think it would take all that much to get him, actually,” a source with knowledge of the situation told La Canfora. “I don’t think [GM] Mickey [Loomis] would hold him back or ask for all that much in return at this point.”
If Payton ends of being available, he could be one of the best available options for teams to consider, given that there aren’t that many hot coaching candidates next year. La Canfora mentions the Colts, Rams and Chargers are three teams that could make sense for Payton.
Payton, 52, signed a new five-year, $45 million extension with the Saints back in March after some talk that he could leave New Orleans. He’s currently under team control through the 2020 season.
Since taking over as head coach of the Saints back in 2006, Payton has led the team to a record of 93 and 65 (58.9 percent), which includes five playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title back in 2009.
We’ll have more regarding Payton’s future with the Saints as the news is available.