Saints HC Sean Payton Stepping Away From Coaching

According to Nick Underhill, Saints HC Sean Payton is retiring. 

Sean Payton

This has been rumored for weeks and finally started picking up steam in the past few days. Payton returned from vacation and met with the team on Monday. Even owner Gayle Benson was in the dark as recently as yesterday

Payton has been the coach since 2006 and has three years left on his contract worth at least $45 million.

There has been some speculation that this isn’t a permanent retirement. Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians, who retired in 2017 and did some broadcast work before coming back to coach Tampa Bay, which sent some draft compensation to the Cardinals to take on Arians’ deal. 

There has been a lot of rumored broadcast interest in Payton recently, for what it’s worth, and the coach is long thought to be someone who would excel on TV once he’s ready to step away. 

This obviously leaves the Saints with a gap at head coach. Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is a strong potential internal replacement but they’ll have to conduct a full search to satisfy the Rooney Rule. 

Payton, 58, began his NFL coaching career with the Eagles as their QBs coach back in 1997. He later joined the Giants for three seasons before the Cowboys hired him as their assistant HC/QBs coach for the 2003 season. 

The Saints brought Payton in as their head coach for the 2006 season and he’s remained in New Orleans since then. He agreed to an extension that will keep him in New Orleans through the 2024 season back in 2019. 

For his career, Payton has led the Saints to a record of 152-89 (63.1 percent), which includes nine playoff appearances and one Super Bowl title in 2009. 

We’ll have more on Payton and the Saints as the news is available. 

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