Report: Sean Payton could be free agent after season

AP

Enduring the wrath of Hurricane Sandy at his Long Island home hasn’t kept our pal Adam Schefter of ESPN from digging up some good stuff for Sunday morning.

Per Schefter, the September 2011 contract extension signed by Saints coach Sean Payton was, at some point in the last year, voided by the NFL.  No replacement deal has been negotiated.

The situation could make Payton a free agent after the 2012 season, if it’s determined that his current contract didn’t “toll” by one season as a result of his one-year suspension.

The rejection of the extension had nothing to do with the bounty scandal.  Instead, the extension gave Payton an exit clause if G.M. Mickey Loomis were suspended or if he left the team.

The fact that the league rejected a contract negotiated at arm’s length between Payton and the Saints has a bit of a bad smell to it.  It’s the kind of collective rule making by the league that in the absence of a union for the coaches could give rise to antitrust concerns.

The fact that Payton’s existing deal surely contains a clause giving the league office final say over any disputes involving the Saints and Payton means that, if the Saints take the position that Payton’s one-year suspension delays his contract by a year, Commissioner Roger Goodell will make the final decision.  Which means that Payton most likely won’t be walking away after 2012 unless the Saints want him to.

While it’s intriguing to consider the possibility of Payton going to coach another team (e.g., the Cowboys), this could be more about Payton trying to get more money to remain the Saints head coach.  If nothing else, the team’s performance in his absence has demonstrated that he’s underpaid.  The voided contract extension gives him a chance to adjust his compensation accordingly.

I’ll have more on this later in the day, possibly during NBC’s Football Night in America at 7:00 p.m. ET.

58 responses to “Report: Sean Payton could be free agent after season

  1. So In short the NFL has rewarded Payton for the Bounty gate. He would ask well get the same money he lost during his suspension without working for a one full season.

    Nice Move Goodell.

  2. I’d love to see what happens if the Saints manage to come all the way back and make a playoff run (which isn’t impossible).

    Plus, I have a feeling Jerry Jones will throw every cent he has at Payton if he gets an opportunity.

  3. This could be the most devastating result of the bounty scandal. Without Payton, they will be right back to the ‘Aints. My guess is they do everything in their power to try and keep him.

  4. Forget thew Saints or Cowboys. Go to San Diego. Easier division and more talent. And no I’m not a Charger fan but I can see the best situation.

  5. If Sean Payton lied to Benson about his bounty scheme, Benson should let him go and I do not know why any owner would want an employee who lies to them. However if Sean Payton’s job was to take the fall and provide plausible deniability cover for Benson he will be a sought after employee as bosses like to have underlings fall on the sword to protect them.

  6. As an Eagles fan, who expect Reid to be looking for a job in 2 months, I’d love to see him in Philly.

    As a realist, there is NO WAY the Saints are going to let him walk after the disaster this season is turning in to. Here’s hoping they turn it around after smoking my Eagles on national TV this week, lol

  7. I have repeatedly said that Payton will never coach in the Urinal again. Jerry Jones will do whatever it takes to get him in Dallas.

  8. I don’t blame Goodell for this one. Whoever came up with that asinine clause deserves the blame for this. On the bright side for Payton, considering how the Aints have been playing without him, he’s gonna be one rich man in his next contract.

  9. paulitik74 says:
    Nov 4, 2012 10:01 AM
    I have repeatedly said that Payton will
    never coach in the Urinal again. Jerry
    Jones will do whatever it takes to get him
    in Dallas.
    —-

    Of course thats’s what you want, because Payton has owned the Falcons the last 6 years. Oh, and ‘the Urinal’ is hosting the Super Bowl this year, when is the last time the Georgia Dome was deemed fit to do that?

  10. I think Tom Benson has very extremely quiet about bountygate, Payton, players, fans concerns etc. because he really wants to wash his hands of this entire sordid affair. I predict Benson lets Payton walk…..and that he will eventually move the saints* to L.A. I would bet the farm that these types of discussions have been going on between the owners. Since saints* fans are so blind and deaf to what was going on with bountygate, they will forever hold this against “Roger Goodell and the NFL’ and I think the NFL realizes this, and as such, have given Benson the green light to move the team as he wanted to do prior to Katrina. If Modell and Isray were villified by Cleveland and Baltimore fans……..wait until Benson backs the semi-trailer’s up to the Superdome. Remember, it caught everyone by surprise when Modell and Isray did it (no one in their wildest dreams would’ve predicted it) but it was all worked out in the back rooms of the NFL offices and kept top secret until it happened. New Orleans has bought shame on the NFL and Vitt, Vilma and Co. and the fans can scream all they want but it is the owners who carry the BFH (big freaking hammer) and don’t be surprised when we eventually hear the “L.A. Saints”.

  11. Am I a bad fan for wanting the Cowboys to keep losing (or at least the offense to stall) so that Jerry makes Payton an offer? I mean…come on, Garrett. You’ve been running this offense for a long time now with just 1 playoff win. That is not okay. It’s time for a change, and since Jerry isn’t going anywhere, Payton is an excellent move. I bet Romo vastly improves under a coach who not only believes in him, but it also a proven teacher of quarterbacks.

  12. Besides his kids being in Dallas, which was the case when he signed the extension with the Saints in 2011, why would he leave after Brees renewed his contract? He’s got to know there isn’t really a better situation for him, and the Saints will pay him what he wants, I’m sure.

  13. discosucs2005 says: Nov 4, 2012 9:41 AM

    I’d love to see what happens if the Saints manage to come all the way back and make a playoff run (which isn’t impossible).

    To win the division they will need to make up 5 wins in 9 games. To secure a wild card they need to leap frog 9 teams. Maybe not statistically impossible, yet, but let’s be honest here..

  14. Not the Cowboys. Payton likes to march to the beat of his own drum and Jones likes to micro manage. The two would butt heads often.

    You would have to believe that either man would be willing to compromise their style when there other situations out there for either of them (coach/teams) that more “ideal” fits.

  15. panthrobro says:
    Nov 4, 2012 9:44 AM
    Forget thew Saints or Cowboys. Go to San Diego. Easier division and more talent. And no I’m not a Charger fan but I can see the best situation.

    This 👌

    We’ll give you a coach and a GM for him right now

  16. You people are unfricking believable! Suspend our coach cause he admitted to a P4I! That’s what you said! He knew about it, he let it go, he lied to the commissioner! But yet the minute you could get your greedy ass hands on him, you would. No matter what you said he did with the Saints! You want him as your coach! Hypocrits!
    Oh, and what else could Roger Goodell possible do to our team! This contract extension was negotiated in September 2011!!! Its November 2012!!!!!! And now Roger is voiding the extension. Where else will he stick his dirty nose!

  17. I think Dallas is the perfect fit. He has coached there, as an asst., knows the area – lives there, knows some of the personnel, and likes being in the spotlight. What he has done in New Orleans has been incredible, he is a great coach, and I think Jones would back off a bit if he wanted to coach there. There was a time when rumors flew that he would actually become the Dallas GM.

  18. I see the usual idiots, wisconsin77 & juddstir are at it again. Envy is such a bad trait.
    Tom Benson owns the Saints & Hornets. No way they move to L.A. or anywhere else. You losers need to go to church on a Sunday instead of commenting on something you obviously know nothing about. Go to confession while you’re there.

  19. Gotta luv the idiot posters that interpret the possibility of Goodell voiding the contract as further punishment for Payton and the saints* If Goodell were to void his extension, he would actually be doing Payton a favor as it would in effect allow him to become a “free agent headcoach” who could/would then receive an even bigger contract than the one he did sign. Then we could see saints* fans turn on Payton as he would leave them to make more money elsewhere……..but with the twisted minds of saints* fans, they would naturally interpret it as Goodell banning Payton from resigning with the saints*. No one has ever claimed the saints* fans are the most intelligent.

  20. thejuddstir says:
    Nov 4, 2012 10:08 AM
    I think Tom Benson has very extremely quiet about bountygate, Payton, players, fans concerns etc. because he really wants to wash his hands of this entire sordid affair. I predict Benson lets Payton walk…..and that he will eventually move the saints* to L.A.
    ____________________________

    Tom Benson owns the Hornets and in the NBA or NFL (I forgot who’s rule it is) you can not own another team in another market. So any thoughts of New Orleans losing the Saints, you can throw them away as of this moment.

  21. I just read all the comments and after a lot of reflection it occurred to me that Drew Brees might want an explanation.

  22. Does anyone truly believe that Payton would walk away from the saints? He has Free reign in the organization which is something I don’t think JJ in Dallas would concede. He has a Future HOF qb that he is seemingly joined at the hip with that is signed long term. I know he has a connection with Romo but Romo isn’t Drew Brees and never will be close.. Calm down people

  23. nispikers – Just because I opined that it would be great irony if Payton would leave New Orleans to become the new head coach of the Minnesota Vikings is not exactly a ringing endorsement. I certainly wouldn’t want someone of Payton’s character leading the Vikings.

  24. Aside from the legality of the contract, wouldn’t the Saints be foolish to fight Payton? Why force a coach to be somewhere he doesn’t want to be?

  25. When exactly is Payton’s suspension over? (Saints’ last game or SB–no Saints fans that is probably not going to be the same day) Is he just banned from Saints involvement/contact or could he theoretically talk with another owner now since his contracted time in NOLA is (arguably) over? I’m sure this could get quite interesting and Saints fans have dealt with enough so far.

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