Where could Sean Payton go, if he doesn’t stay?


Sean Payton has said multiple times that he’d like to stay with the Saints. The Saints haven’t said anything, yet.

Plenty will be determined on Monday, when Payton meets with G.M. Mickey Loomis. Once joined at the hip (Payton’s latest contract was rejected by the league office because it provided that Payton could walk away if Loomis was no longer there), there’s a sense that the two men are starting to drift apart.

But speculation of a full-blown war would be off the mark. Loomis has transitioned into a bigger role under owner Tom Benson, with responsibilities both for the Saints and for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. Payton quite possibly has reached the end of his shelf life in New Orleans; indeed, if he waits another year (and if next year doesn’t go well), he possibly wouldn’t be as high on the “A” list as he’d be this year.

If Loomis and Payton decide that Payton should explore other opportunities, here’s how it would work. Another team would contact the Saints and work out compensation, in the event Payton is hired. Once a tentative deal is reached, that team would have the green light to try to work out a contract with Payton.

As a practical matter, Payton will surely know which team will calling, and he’ll know which team he wants to coach. The compensation is likely already being kicked around, especially with Jay Glazer floating a second-round pick as the price tag earlier in the day.

The primary options could be the 49ers and the Colts, with the Giants as a long shot and the Cowboys as an even longer shot. Sure, the Cowboys have said coach Jason Garrett is safe, but Jerry Jones has a habit of supporting someone right until he decides that he no longer does. If Payton will be leaving New Orleans, Jones may not want to miss the chance to snag him.

The one team to strike from the list of potential Payton suitors is the Dolphins. Per a league source, the Dolphins will not be pursuing Payton.

From Payton’s perspective, the best place to go will be a place with a great quarterback in place. His decade with the Saints has been fueled by the presence of Drew Brees. The thinking is that Payton would love to coach the Giants; the question is whether the Giants would want to pair Payton with Eli Manning for the balance of Manning’s career.

There’s also a chance that, if Payton leaves, he could attract Drew Brees to Payton’s new place of employment. That would entail Payton going to a team like the 49ers, where it would be easy to flip the switch to a new contract.

45 responses to “Where could Sean Payton go, if he doesn’t stay?

  1. It won’t be Philadelphia because it is clear from the folks that they have already interviewed that they want someone from the Reid era, probably for familiarity with folks within their organization to cut down on the relating issues that Chip Kelly apparently had with in the NovaCare complex. That’s why Philadelphia has interviewed Staley, Pedersen, and probablybwill interview Shurmur. much as they like Sean McDermott, my guess is that the Eagles make an immediate decision and move on.

    It likely will not be Dallas because the Joneses have already absolved Jason Garrett and because his contract so exorbitant, so my opinion is that Sean Payton would be very interesting in Dallas given that he lives in Dallas and used to be a coach with Dallas when Parcells was the head coach.

    I can’t see Sean Payton going to Indianapolis given the instability that seems to emanate from the owner. Miami, too, though my guess is that Ross will likely pursue Jim Harbaugh. San Diego might be another option but my guess is that if San Diego fires McCoy they would probably look at Hue Jackson or perhaps Mike Shanahan they both have left coast experiences.

    And Cleveland iscsuch a joke to not even merit consideration.

    I could see him in New York though.

  2. Lol y’all are idiots. He’s not leaving unless he’s fired. The issue is the GM, not the head coach. Payton and Brees are still making magic. If the saints had even a top 20 defense they would be playoff bound. Scoring and offense isn’t the issue, stopping the other team from out scoring with terrible GM picks is.

  3. Compensation for Payton will be heavy. Possibly two #1 draft picks. Sadly, I think that keeps the Giants out of the mix. I’m guessing Niners.

  4. Jim Harbaugh isn’t leaving Michigan. Put that to rest. I would love for that to happen as an alumnus and fan of a scjool that plays Michigan on an annual basis.

  5. What a dumb article….Why would he want to go to that mess in Santa Clara?….And then Florio why would that mess in Santa Clara want an aging QB? costing big $. Santa Clara ownership is dumb enough to consider it but give Payton some credit

  6. No way Brees follows Payton to another team. I could see Payton following Drew but, not the other way around.

    And, as for where SP lands? His girlfriend is from W. Virginia so he might be inclined to accept a position close by there. To name a few:

    The Redskins? Nah, Gruden seems to have righted the ship.

    Browns? No. He’s not going to put up with all that mayhem.

    Colts? He’s probably not thrilled about the Irsay/Grigsen thing there…likely, no.

    Not close by W. Virginia we have the Dolphins and Cowboys with his preference being Dallas, but would Jerreh dump Garrett? I don’t think so because this year’s outcome was largely due to a hurt Romo.

    So that makes it look like Miami which may be glitzy enough, a big enough market to lure Payton to new horizons.

  7. Does anyone who comments ever read the article? He isn’t going to be let go or quit, he is going to be traded. And the compensation is a second round pick, not two firsts.

  8. I think Philly should be included as his scheme would be easily implemented with the pieces they have on offense. Jordan Matthews is similar to Marques Colston, Zach Ertz is similar to Jimmy Graham, and there is a stable of RB’s including Sproles.

  9. I actually agree that Payton would be a very good fit with Philadelphia.

    Nothing surprises me about Dallas. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to work something out to get him. But for as seemingly incompetent that Garrett is as a head coach, The real issue in Dallas is the lack of a true football guy as a GM.

  10. Personally think the only team Payton leaves the Saints for is the Giants. They have arguably one of the most stable ownerships in all of sports and to a fault won’t fire someone unless absolutely necessary. Plus, he would have Eli and the chance to develop his own QB and that’s why I can see him only leaving for the Giants.

  11. Jan 3, 2016 5:06 PM

    Does anyone who comments ever read the article? He isn’t going to be let go or quit, he is going to be traded.

    Some people believe only what they read on the web and see on TV.

    Others enjoy putting two and two together to make four and connecting the dots. It’s known as independent thinking.

  12. ytrappin504 says:
    Jan 3, 2016 4:55 PM

    Lol y’all are idiots. He’s not leaving unless he’s fired. The issue is the GM, not the head coach. Payton and Brees are still making magic. If the saints had even a top 20 defense they would be playoff bound. Scoring and offense isn’t the issue, stopping the other team from out scoring with terrible GM picks is.

    This, for the most part. I heard Loomis is gonna GM the Pelicans, and Jeff Ireland will be named GM of the Saints…Because Payton has the option of terminating his contract if Loomis leaves, they are meeting tomorrow to reword or renew Paytons contract. He ain’t leaving N.O.

  13. Don’t think DaBreeze would want to go to a team that has any form of QB legacy already in place (e.g., 49ers/Montana, Cowboys/Aikman, Giants/Lil’ Bro Manning etc.). Still think Houston is the best spot for a Payton/Brees tandem. Cleveland is too far off the map and no way DaBreeze would want to pair himself with Saint Louie/Fisher lol.

  14. I can see Jerry getting him. Payton hangs out with Romo and other Dallas players in the offseason. When he’s at home.

  15. A second round pick for Payton is a steal. Maybe I am the one who is way off base but I laugh at the report of a second round pick. Earlier it was a third rounder. Nfl is about coaching and qb. Minimum of a 1st and 3rd for Payton and Drew probably about the same. Otherwise this is all a joke.

  16. Has everyone lost their mind? Or, is everyone really that stupid? Payton will stay in NO. The problem is Loomis. Sadly, lookalike the old man is fascinated with Loomy.

  17. Come to Cleveland!! A Payton/ Brees combo, paired with josh Gordon, Travis Benjamin, Brian hartline and Gary barnidge and we’ll pretend a good wr draft pick and you could do a lot worse. We promise not to let cam Erving on the field ever.

  18. I heard Loomis is gonna GM the Pelicans, and Jeff Ireland will be named GM of the Saints

    Well then any amount of draft picks would not matter.

  19. For all of you that seem to think that Sean Payton would laughably be traded for only a second round pick go ahead and digest this little tidbit. The Oakland Raiders allowed Jon Gruden to sign with the Bucs in exchange for 1st and 2nd round draft picks in 2002, a 1st round pick in 2003 and a 2nd round pick in 2004, plus cash. Jon Gruden wasn’t even a Super Bowl winning coach yet at the time of his trade. I can only imagine that the starting point would have to be at least what the Raiders got and only get better from there. With SP he’s won his Super Bowl prior to this supposed “trade scenario”, so the Saints should command more and if the other teams can’t pony up the compensation then they can kick rocks. We will keep on enjoying our Super Bowl winning coach. Oh and something has to be done with Loomis but I can tell you Ireland is not even close to being an answer to the question of replacing a GM.

  20. Payton and Brees is a lethal combination. You don’t break that up. We need to get rid of Loomis yesterday.

    Mickey has had some real solid draft picks in Evans, Colston, Jenkins, Bush, Nicks, Cooks, Graham but he has missed quite a bit over the years.

    The # 1 thing we need to do is find a way to get pressure on the QB. That’s why we lose games.

  21. Reasons why Payton would consider the 49ers:

    1. Weather. It’s a year round vacation in the Bay Area.

    2. He has one child attending college in California.

    3. Started his coaching career in California.

    4. Connection to Trent Baalke from Bill Parcell days.

    That’s all I got.

  22. As for why the Saints might let him go for a 2nd…

    1. Market value. Teams hiring buffoons like Jim Tomsula have lowered the market value for coaches.

    2. What have you done for me lately. Gruden was coming off two consecutive playoff appearances. Payton is coming off two consecutive duds.

    3. Burnout. The feeling is that neither Payton nor the Saints are thrilled about him staying in New Orleans. If teams know that the relationship is precarious, why would they break the bank to get him?

    4. (Probably most important) The interested teams aren’t merely a coach away from being pushed over the hump. Tampa Bay was desperate after years of being close.

    So, no one is saying that Gruden is two 1st round picks better than Payton. However, the market and scenarios are significantly different. Payton isn’t going to be traded for two firsts. If he is traded, it will definitely be for less.

  23. Reasons why Payton would consider the Giants

    1. Eli Manning

    2. Ownership. The Giants take care of their coaches and are a very stable franchise.

    3. OBJ. Arguably the best young WR in the league.

    4 Bill Parcells connection.

    The job is a cushy one. I do wonder if he’d want to live in New York for half the year though.

  24. His connections to Philadelphia far outweigh connections to other cities.

    Sean’s wife is from the Philadelphia area and her family all lives there. Family men who coach in the NFL allow their wives to provide heavy influence on where to sign when multiple offers are available. Head Coaching an NFL team puts massive strains on relationships when you are in the “office” 14+hrs a day 6 days a week and away from home 2-3 days a week for 8+ weeks. Men will easily allow their spouse to have influence on their decision because the spouse gets left home (rich and bored) while they are out at work constantly.

    Sproles, Jenkins, Ex Eagles coaching staff, ties to Lurie.

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