The Saints may soon be looking for a new head coach, for the first time in 16 years. That possibility took on greater credence on Monday, when team owner Gayle Benson giggled her way through making it clear that they don’t know whether Sean Payton will return for 2022.
Jeff Duncan of the New Orlean Times-Picayune reports that Payton and G.M. Mickey Loomis met “for a couple of hours on Monday.” Duncan admits that he currently has nothing more than that. The absence of news is, in its own way, newsworthy.
Payton hasn’t denied the reports that he may leave. Some have suggested that he’ll spend a year or two in TV, possibly before returning to coaching.
At this point, we wait for more. Some are wondering whether Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is making another behind-the-scenes run at Payton, like Jones did three years ago. (Again, the explanation as to why it didn’t happen appears in Playmakers. And it will indeed blow your freakin’ mind.) It seems more likely that Payton would wait a year or two before joining Dallas or another team.
If/when he coaches elsewhere, look for him to look for a place where the deck is stacked (or, as Simms would say — and has said — the stack is decked). No coach has won a Super Bowl with two different teams. Payton surely won’t take another job unless he thinks he has a great chance to pull it off.