Report: League grants Saints permission to work out Payton deal

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The ping-pong of reports regarding the Saints and suspended coach Sean Payton continues.

It started Sunday, when ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the league office rejected Payton’s September 2011 contract extension and that Payton will (not might, will) become a free agent after “the season.”  ESPN thereafter launched into speculation regarding Payton becoming the next coach of the Cowboys that was so strong it at times has seemed wishful.

Then, FOX’s Jay Glazer said that Payton “absolutely plans” to coach the Saints in 2013.

Then, some Internet hack with whom you may be familiar reported on NBC that the Saints are adamant that Payton will be the coach next year.

On Monday, some clarity emerged regarding the timeline that would apply.  Payton can’t be a free agent until his suspension ends.  His suspension won’t end until the next Super Bowl is played.  That complicates significantly the ability of teams like the Cowboys or the Eagles to pursue Payton, since they wouldn’t even be allowed to talk to Payton until more than a month after the normal hiring cycle ends.

Then, Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the Saints and Payton are able under the terms of the suspension to fix the contract.

Then, Schefter reported they aren’t.

Then, said Internet hack with whom you may be familiar chimed in again, explaining that the communications aimed at fixing the contract are allowed.

Now, Nakia Hogan of the Times-Picayune reports that permission expressly has been given by the league to the Saints to resolve the flaw in the contract that prompted the league office to previously reject it.

While Schefter has yet to hit the small, hollow, plastic ball back over the small green net, ESPN has posted an item based on the latest Times-Picayune report.

For now, then, it looks like G.M. Mickey Loomis, on his first full day of work after serving his own eight-game suspension, can commence the process of getting the extension ironed out.  He has three months to do it before Payton would be able to walk away.

It’s the smart thing to do.  Exceptions already have been made under the terms of the suspensions to allow Payton and others to attend the Chargers-Saints game earlier this year.  Likewise, the terms of the supposed banishment of former Saints and current Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams have been warped and bastardized to the point that he can apparently attend all Rams games.

Besides, the NFL desperately needs Payton to stay in New Orleans because the NFL will bear the full brunt of the blame if Payton goes.

Sure, Payton could look for a raise over what he was due to make under the terms of the rejected extension based on the team’s performance with him last season and without him this year.  Still, there’s no reason (yet) to believe that Payton has in only 14 months decided that he no longer wants to coach the Saints.

While it was a great story from Schefter, the hype of a possible jump by Payton to the Cowboys made the story into something more than it ever should have been at this point.  It doesn’t mean that Payton definitely will be back in New Orleans next year, but the signs are pointing much more strongly to that result than any other possible outcome.

21 responses to “Report: League grants Saints permission to work out Payton deal

  1. the NFL did the only thing that makes sense. i see him staying in NO .. why not? look at that offense.

  2. Why would there even be speculation about Payton coaching the Cowboys? That is a no win situation for him. He is a real coach. Jerrah only wants a puppet as HC and that is not Sean Payton. JasonGarret isn’t going anywhere….unless they decide to promot Rob Ryan (whom I believe to be the next HC of the Eagles). Jerrah is the new Al Davis, except Davis was once a shrewd football mind.

  3. Florio, you were wrong. Because something you said eventually becomes correct, it doesn’t make you right for accurately reporting too early. Drop the anti-ESPN charade, if it wasn’t for what they did for your industry you wouldn’t have a job.

  4. ESPN reporters are a bunch of hacks. They are the sports equivalent of The National Inquirer. Next they’ll report that Drew Brees is an alien life form & Rex Ryan is pregnant with Tebows love child. Hmmmm…..

  5. Just where do people really think he would go and get a better situation than NO. The money will be there for sure and when you have a team with one of the top QB’s in the league who makes you look good, your not going to anywhere like Dallas and the headache Romo would give you every Sunday.
    No one leaves a sure winner for just money.

  6. Can we finally put a stake in the heart of this non-story?

    BTW I don’t blame Schefter for this since it actually ended up being true. I blame ESPN blowing it way up to fill the gap between their Cowboys and Jets coverage.

  7. 49erstim says:
    Nov 6, 2012 9:21 AM
    Why would there even be speculation about Payton coaching the Cowboys? That is a no win situation for him.

    Exactly. Saints and Cowboys are both 3-5 and if i had to pick one to make the playoffs it would be the Saints, and they have one of the worse defenses in the history of the NFL. That’s the state of the Cowboy franchise.

  8. ESPN is the Fox News of the sports world. Complete fabrications for the sake of drama and shock value being made to look like factual information. Do they think no one with half a brain watches them?

    If I was as wrong in my job as they are in theirs, I’d have been fired a long time ago.

  9. What is this obsession with the Cowboys? Why does anyone think that Payton would go to a franchise that features an incompetent general manager with a lifetime contract. Dallas has played 500 over the past decade and made one playoff appearance. They don’t totally suck but they are damn close.

  10. Ok, I don’t why but all of this seems so funny to me. Anyway at this point I’m just watching football and looking forward to Sunday night. I think we might be watching the superbowl preview Texans and Bears. I think Payton will be back in New Orleans. But, I also thought the cowboys would go 13 and 3 this year!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Is he truly suspended or just not allowed to coach from the sidelines right now? Based on the suspension, no team, Saints or otherwise, should be allowed to talk contract with Payton. That is actually to the Saints benefit. If a HC gets fired it is usually “Black Monday” or during the last 1/2 of the season. How many teams would be willing to wait around for a month or longer on the off chance that Payton would want to be their HC? If they don’t get him, most of the other “elite” prospects would be gone and they would have to settle for somebody else. I think the coaching shuffle will be close to done before SP ends his suspension.

  12. “Buffalo has a Brinks truck to say different.”

    ALL NFL owners have Brinks trucks. No one will offer anything that Benson can’t match.

  13. They should be able to iron this out quickly. How long does it take to delete a single clause out of a contract? Frankly, it’s amazing it was in there to start with. I get that Payton and Loomis are tight and Benson loves them, but few owners would okay a contract letting his coach out if the front office turned over. And even fewer GMs would have the stones to present such a contract to their owner.

  14. Why would any respectable coach want to go to a team with such a meddling owner? I don’t believe for a second that Payton would consider the Cowboys without his hand picked GM and of course we know that aint happening.

  15. One thing I have not heard mentioned in this story is the role Bill Parcells has played for years as Payton’s mentor. Does anyone really think the phone call from Payton to Parcells asking for Parcells’ advice about going to work for Jerry Jones would last longer than 60 seconds?

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