Sean Payton informs Saints he’s stepping down

NFL: JAN 09 Saints at Falcons
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With no vacancies yet filled, there’s now another opening in the NFL.

According to multiple reports, Sean Payton informed the Saints on Tuesday that he’s stepping down as the team’s head coach.

Payton, 58, has been with the Saints since 2006, winning Super Bowl XLIV over the Colts. He compiled a 152-89 record in the regular season and a 9-8 record in the postseason.

Reports emerged on Sunday that Payton had not committed to coaching the team in 2022. Owner Gayle Benson admitted she was uncertain about Payton’s future on Monday. And an earlier Tuesday report indicated that Payton had spoken with G.M. Mickey Loomis for “a couple of hours” on Monday.

Now the Saints’ head coach has decided to step down.

While New Orleans could be a potential landing spot for several candidates, one in-house successor could be defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. He has drawn some interest from the Bears this month.

119 responses to “Sean Payton informs Saints he’s stepping down

  1. It’s time. I think he saw what post-Brees life was going to be like and decided not to be a part of it. I’m sure he could get a cushy studio analyst job if he’s ready for that pasture.

  2. Yep, as soon as Payton loses his meal ticket in Brees, he knows he has to do real coaching again and is exhausted.

  3. Don’t blame him a bit … 70 million over the salary cap next year with no QB in sight. Time to jump ship and let somebody else have the problems.

  4. Burnout after 16 years. Long time to coach in that league. Reid and Belicheck the only ones with that kind of time in there?

  5. Mr. Payton, Jerry Jones on line 1.
    Five minutes later… Mr. McCarthy, Jerry Jones on line 1.

  6. He’s filthy rich and it’s too hard to rebuild from scratch with no qb.

  7. Sean had fun running up the credit card bill all these years, now faced with having to pay the piper for all those fun times, he’s bailing and letting it be some poor schmuck who will get fired in 2 years for not making the playoffs because the team has no money for players.

  8. As a Raiders fan, I’m sure the rest of the NFC south would be delighted if Allen got the promotion.

  9. He won’t stay retired. Winning season and almost got the Saints to the playoffs with Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian at QB….

  10. He’ll probably do a year of tv and then Jerry Jones will send 1 first rounder to the Saints for his services depending on his contract situation. Dennis Allen will be promoted most likely.

  11. Colon Cowherd is already talking he’s going to LV or Dallas. Both are possible options, but I wouldn’t go to a team that has to play Herbert and Mahomes for the next 5 years. That said, if you can go there and beat those guys, you’d elevate your status as a coach.

  12. Guess he shies away from challenges. It was easy when you had Drew Brees. You don’t and you’ll get exposed. The architect of Bountygate is gone. That’s a good thing.

  13. Send Payton to Dallas then bring my favorite coach McCarthy back to Green Bay, and I’ll stay. I swear on my broken pinky toe.

  14. He’s not stepping down. He’s quitting. Can we stop using kid gloves when discussing the decisions made by millionaires?

  15. Not surprising at all. Coached the Saints for a long time. Not so fun when you don’t have a HOF QB at the helm.

  16. Wow, now Thomas is someone else’s diva problem I guess. Oh yeah, they don’t have a QB either.

  17. If Amazon really wants to be a player have him as a studio analyst then after a year the Cowboys bring him in.

  18. The Saints are not going to be more than a 7 or 8 win team and Shawn knows it. Time to take a breather.

  19. If he shies away from challenges, then he sure as hell won’t go to Dallas. Dealing with Jerry Jones would be the greatest challenge he’s ever faced.

  20. This seems like a rather late notice. All of the other teams who were in the coaching search have had plenty of time to do lots of rounds of interviews. Saints will have to play catch-up rather quickly.

  21. Thanks Sean for the Super Bowl victory and ushering in the golden age of Saints football. Godspeed on your next journey.

  22. donterrelli says:

    Mike McCarthy’s sweating bullets.
    ——————
    They both were failures winning only one super bowl with HOF QBs and title worthy teams.

  23. Current projected ranking in amount of free cap space for the Saints:
    2022 – 32nd
    2023 – 31st
    2024 – 30th

  24. Wow! What a sweet job. Having a long NFL coaching career and having Drew Brees as your QB nearly the entire time. Shoot, I’d retire too.

  25. The big question is if he’s really retiring (as in, rocking chair, fishing, bingo night) or is he angling for a better gig?
    None of the open seats is as good as NO, and he has a lot of power within the organization. I think he’s all done, unless he’s made a secret deal with Jerry Jones.

  26. living La Vita Loco … 1 yr in the booth .. likely negates his NFL Saints contract and then free to saddle into Cowboys HC seat at min $12.5 mil/ yr + Bonuses (ie + $500K for conference final + $1m for Super Bowl and another $1m for winning Super Bowl (Jerry Jones happily paying $15m/ yr for conference)

  27. tgsot says:
    January 25, 2022 at 2:11 pm
    Should have waited to announce it until after Tom Brady says he’s retiring.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    What if Brady doesn’t retire? Why wait when that would limit the possible replacements? He said he’s stepping down. Not retiring. Do you watch football?

  28. If this is just a ploy to coach the Cowboys then it’s a pretty sleazy thing to do to McCarthy. I can understand that he needs a break. But if it’s just scheming to take another coach’s job then it’s very low rent.

  29. If he goes directly to another team, I will have even less respect for him than the minimal amount I have now. Things get a little tough and he’s out. I can’t imagine someone giving up a draft pick for someone who thought Taysom Hill was an NFL starting quarterback.

  30. Jerruh’s pulling this string, Payton will be coaching Dallas before the year is over. Bye bye Charlie McCarthy, Jerruh found a new puppet!

  31. Maybe the Bears can’t hire him as their next HC but they need to figure out some way to get his help retooling their offense and developing Justin Fields — and give him a blank check to do that.

  32. He watched that Bills/Chiefs game and realized that he had nothing in his quarterback room remotely close to competing with the show he just saw.

  33. No way he goes to Dallas if he can’t be in charge of personnel and we know Jerry won’t allow that.

  34. Coach Payton won 1 Super Bowl in 15 years with a HOF QB and left a huge mess behind. Give Coach Allen a chance to right the ship.

    Why does everyone think he’s going to the Cowboys? 1.The Cowboys aren’t that good. 2. Neither is Sean Payton.

  35. If Brady retires, the NFC South becomes wide open. What has Atlanta and Carolina done to make anyone lose sleep?

  36. Saints aren’t my team, but I’m a Sean Payton fan.
    Stand-up guy. I hope that he does well, and I hope he doesn’t go to Dallas.

  37. And at the same time, Jerry Jones will not directly endorse Mike McCarthy and slap down rumors of a head coaching change. Where there is smoke, there is fire.

  38. Maybe he is on his way to Minny. Probably figures he can’t beat them in the playoffs without cheating so why not get on board.

  39. He is only capable of coaching a team with a future Hall of Fame quarterback. At least Bellichek stuck it out after Brady left.

  40. 70 million dollars over the cap I would not want any part of that New Orleans Saints job. That’s definitely not a job for a first time head cosch. Whoever takes that job will just be preparing the way for the next Head Coach.

    Dennis Allen is a good D Coordinator, but as a Head Coach I don’t think he could motivate a dog to chase a cat. I cant believe The NFL and their recycled Head Coaches.

  41. Great Quarterbacks make great coaches. He lost his so the only way to protect his legacy is to retire.

  42. Payton needs to take a few years off and take care of his health, which appears to have declined with each passing year. He’s severely overweight and looks like he’s 85 years old, not 58 years old.

    Take care of your body, relax and maybe join a Sunday morning show. 16 years in one place is a long, long time.

  43. octavian says:
    January 25, 2022 at 2:19 pm
    Thanks Sean for the Super Bowl victory and ushering in the golden age of Saints football. Godspeed on your next journey.

    ——————

    Thanks Dreq for the Super Bowl victory and ushering in the golden age of Saints football. Godspeed on your next journey. (Fixed it)

  44. Bob says:
    January 25, 2022 at 2:14 pm
    He’s not stepping down. He’s quitting. Can we stop using kid gloves when discussing the decisions made by millionaires?

    C’mon, quitting is beneath him. Millionaires don’t quit, they “step down”.

    Seriously, it’s not like he’s leaving the team in the lurch. The Saints have a good amount of talent, esp. on defense. Yeah, they need a better QB, but so does half the league.

  45. Everyone talking about the cap situation is misinformed. The Saints were $100 million over the cap for the ’21 and they figured it out. The cap will go up this coming year and for years to come. Mickey Loomis can easily navigate being over $60 million by restructuring current contracts. The main downside is not having enough money to resign Terron Armstead.

  46. GM Mickey Loomis double mortgaged the future to keep everyone in past years with Brees and avoid making any hard decisions. Last year the debt came due and again Saints are the most over the cap and can’t compete with teams thaf have the cash to reload. Payton is smart to step down, but I wish Loomis would too. Knowing how to borrow too much from the future is not genius when it costs you a great coach. They couldn’t make the hard decisions like New England always did and now they are loaded with bad contracts they cost too much to cut.

  47. I honestly don’t see Sean Payton as any better than McCarthy. Their results are virtually the same. One super bowl victory a long time ago with great QBs then underachievement in the long years since.

  48. Loomis could navigate being most over the cap but navigating it would mean not adding top new contributors, and pushing money due on bad contracts into future years that makes those bad contracts even more impossible to cut due to increased prorated bonuses backloaded. Then Saints would lead league in money over the cap again next year and the year after. Andrus Peat and Taysom Hill would still be on the roster at 45yo in wheel chairs because all Loomis knows how to do to manage cap is sign extensions and convert salary to roster bonus year after year.

  49. curtis20 says:
    January 25, 2022 at 2:36 pm
    I thought they were fine W/Tayson Hill right coach?? Coach where are you going?

    ===========

    Payton made sure Taysom got paid before he left but now that he left the Saints are on the hook for a crap load of money for a gadget player.

  50. He’ll land with the Cowboy, cuz Jones is slowly working his way towards “500 coaches” or the Bears, who he played for during the strike of 87.

  51. When the going gets tough, the tough….quit? Lame. Road Brees coattails for years and now wants to bail before people figure it out.

  52. This guy is definitely not retiring. You can tell he loves it too much, and is still not even 60 yet. Salary cap hell can certainly be a reason to leave. He may go to TV for awhile but I don’t see him being like Cowher – never coming back to coach.

  53. Sad to see, but congrats to stepping down. Sean Payton and Brees took a bottom-feeder organization and brought it to peak success, helped heal the wounds of Katrina and rejuvenated an entire city. And then kept them as legitimate contenders for another 10+ years. That’s no small feat.

  54. I know a lot of people are going to be upset with this post. For all the morons that keep saying that Sean Payton left the Saints in a mess financially and the salary cap is a complete disaster and have no quarterback. I hope you realize that he’s the coach, (with some input of course like all coaches ) NOT the freaking general manager (See Mickey Loomis) Idiots

  55. Bob says:
    January 25, 2022 at 2:14 pm
    He’s not stepping down. He’s quitting. Can we stop using kid gloves when discussing the decisions made by millionaires?

    =======

    Great point, well observed.

  56. octavian says:
    January 25, 2022 at 2:55 pm
    Everyone talking about the cap situation is misinformed. The Saints were $100 million over the cap for the ’21 and they figured it out. The cap will go up this coming year and for years to come. Mickey Loomis can easily navigate being over $60 million by restructuring current contracts. The main downside is not having enough money to resign Terron Armstead.
    ——
    No, Loomis cannot “easily navigate” being $74 million over the cap.

    If they apply a June 1st Designation to their highest paid players which is $15.8 million for Thomas, $15 million for Jordan, $7.8 million for Armstead, $7.5 million for Demario Davis, $8.5 million for David Onyemata, $7.5 for Malcom Jenkins and $10 million for Roby, they’d still be *$2 million* over the cap.

    They’re facing a MASSIVE rebuild.

  57. I wonder if being $77M over 2022’s cap has anything to do with it. Oh, and no Drew Brees. The Saints are in for some lean years until they get out of salary cap jail.

  58. Very good coach especially with what he was dealing with this year, one of the best.

  59. Ex wife and kids live in Dallas.

    The cap is a non issue. The Saints are over the cap a huge amount every year and their GM Loomis fixes it every time.

  60. “If he shies away from challenges, then he sure as hell won’t go to Dallas. Dealing with Jerry Jones would be the greatest challenge he’s ever faced.”

    Maybe it’s just me, but taking over the Saints after Katrina, with Brees not yet on board, no real practice facility, the dome still being repaired and the city still devastated seems a bit more of a challenge than an overbearing owner.

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