NFL says it has made no determination on Sean Payton’s contract status for 2013

Getty Images

In response to a report from Adam Schefter that Saints coach Sean Payton will be a free agent in 2013, the NFL says, in essence, “Not so fast, my friend.”

The league’s official statement, via Albert Breer of NFL Network, takes no position on Payton’s status beyond 2012.

“Our office has made no determination on Sean Payton’s contract status with the Saints for next year,” the league told Breer.   “All contracts between clubs and their employees must be approved by the Commissioner, and we do not comment on specific terms of individual contracts.”

Schefter reported that, at some point within the past year, the league office rejected the extension signed by Payton in September 2011.  That makes 2012 the last year of his contract.

But with Payton suspended for all of 2012, the Saints could take the position that his contract is tolled.  Since the final decision on any contract-related disputes comes from Commissioner Roger Goodell, and given that Goodell likely wouldn’t reach a decision that will be deemed to benefit Payton, Goodell would surely be inclined to keep Payton in place.

Making Payton a free agent in 2013 would surely benefit Payton, either by giving him more leverage in contract talks with the Saints or allowing him to walk away from New Orleans.

Unless, of course, there’s collusion among his potential suitors to not pursue him.

With all the heat Goodell has taken over suspending Payton, does anyone really think Goodell would let Payton walk away under circumstances that would make Saints fans even more angry at Goodell and the league office?

Regardless of the contractual niceties and things folks close to the situation believe or don’t believe, it would be a major surprise to see the league office let Payton leave — unless the Saints make it clear that they either don’t want him back or that they support his desire to leave if he thinks it’s time for a change.

Or, as mentioned above, unless there’s collusion among his potential suitors.

21 responses to “NFL says it has made no determination on Sean Payton’s contract status for 2013

  1. If his contract doesn’t toll, this is complete crap. He can’t negotiate a contract while he’s suspended. There is no way the NFL will be allowed to in effect move Sean Payton to another team. If a player is suspended for a year, their contract tolls for a reason.

  2. Bet you drew brees never saw this one coming when he was negotiating his long term contract…

  3. 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

  4. Seriously—why does ESPN keep lying about the Saints? They only report pro-Goodell bounty stories. And don’t forget the Mickey Loomis wiretapping story.

  5. “With all the heat Goodell has taken over suspending Payton, does anyone really think Goodell would let Payton walk away under circumstances that would make Saints fans even more angry at Goodell and the league office?”


    Well, Goodell has proven himself to be pretty stupid. It would not surprise me a bit if he did another ridiculously stupid thing

  6. The commish is already on thin ice here. He’ll probably be eating in his hotel room all Super Bowl week, since no restaurant he is going to serve him.
    If this plays out with Payton free to walk, he’ll need Blackwater Security guys escorting he everywhere.

  7. Us Tampa fans think Sean Payton would would be an excellent head coach either in Dallas, Philadelphia or San Diego….Anywhere but the NFC South….

  8. ExtenSion was signed in 2011 and now in 2012 the NFL still hasn’t made a decision? Not buying it. Sounds more like Schefter broke news NFL wasn’t ready to deal with yet.

  9. Payton already turned down an offer to coach the Raiders years ago – because of the “Owner as GM” model they followed.

    So why would he say Yes to doing it with the Cowboys with Jerry Jones there as the GM?

    Only way he coaches the Cowboys is if he can bring his own GM with him . . .

  10. You would think this would be a no brainer since Payton is a super bowl winning coach but with Payton’s disciplinary history plus the reputation he has around the league as somebody who is kind of a bully, I wonder who would be a more sought after HC this offseason, Payton or Chip Kelly? Of course, this whole story needs to be true first.

  11. Since the final decision on contracts has to be made by the idiot commissioner, expect a decision to take many many months, if not years, because as a moron, Goodell can’t ever just make a decision.

  12. Sean might be in favor of this anyway. Considering how the Saints are playing without him, he’s due for a bigger salary than what he would have gotten from that contract.

  13. Someone will give him a fat contract(Browns,Cheifs, Eagels,Raiders,ect.). He needs the money to keep his nose full of Rx pills.

    Go Falcons!
    and falcon fans wonder why they don’t get coverage on a national basis. Saints coach gets more press away from football than dirty birds get with top billing.

  14. Jason Garrett isn’t the answer in Dallas and should have been fired with Wade Phillips. That being said, we don’t want a one hit wonder, stat chaser like Sean Payton either.

    He isn’t leaving the Saints regardless of free agency or not. Then we will all see they are just a bad team regardless of who is coaching.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.