New report links Sean Payton to Dolphins, Chargers, Cowboys for 2023

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons
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Sorry, Panthers. You apparently didn’t make the cut, again.

The team that tried (twice) and failed (twice) to get quarterback Deshaun Watson previously was linked to former Saints coach Sean Payton for 2023. The team’s official response was something less than a full-throated denial.

Regardless, Payton widely is believed to be destined to return to coaching in 2023. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, citing an unnamed source close to Payton, lists the Dolphins, Chargers, and Cowboys as teams that could draw Payton’s interest in 2023.

The source added the catch-all “among other teams,” so there may still be hope for the Panthers and other potentially interested teams.

The main factors for Payton are, per Jackson: (1) warm weather; (2) a roster that can contend; and (3) control over personnel decisions.

The Cowboys already are on the short list to pursue Payton, despite the ongoing efforts of owner Jerry Jones to put the kibosh on the subject. (As reported in Playmakers, the Cowboys nearly hired Payton in 2019.)

The other two teams are surprising. Although the source told Jackson that Payton would never lobby for a job that’s already filled, Jason Garrett serve as head coach of the Cowboys when the pieces were put in place behind the scenes for the Cowboys to hire Payton. So even if he wouldn’t “lobby,” he also wouldn’t slam the door in the face of an owner who is interested in hiring him, regardless of whether that owner currently has a coach under contract.

Jackson, given his beat, focuses on the Dolphins. Despite the fact that the story was grossly underreported (in large part because reporters working for ESPN and NFL Network flatly ignored it), the Dolphins’ clandestine pursuit of Payton and quarterback Tom Brady was one of the biggest developments of the offseason. Jackson doesn’t slam the door on the possibility of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross rekindling his interest in Payton, if the team disappoints under first-year coach Mike McDaniel.

If would be awkward to say the least, and it would be expensive. But if Ross wants Brady and if Brady wants Payton, buying out McDaniel’s contract becomes part of the cost of doing business.

And that’s the thing to remember. Brady will be a free agent in 2023. The Payton-Brady partnership could still happen in Miami next year. Frankly, McDaniel doesn’t deserve to be saddled with that speculation before he ever coaches a single game. Anyone who pays any attention to the NFL knows that anything can happen, however.

If not Payton-Brady, it could be Payton-Herbert. Or Payton-Prescott. Wherever Payton goes (and he likely will be coaching somewhere in 2023), he’ll want to be in a place that has a quarterback, because that will be the most important factor in Payton’s effort to become the first coach in league history to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises.

47 responses to “New report links Sean Payton to Dolphins, Chargers, Cowboys for 2023

  1. Not at all surprised to see Miami on this list. All they are missing is the proven QB. And perhaps this is the year the QB they have proves himself. If Tua fails, they do have 2 first round picks next year as ammunition to move up and draft a new prospect in a much stronger QB draft that the 2022 draft was.

  2. Well, that really narrows it down. I could have came up with that from my armchair. You here that coach Staley? I bet you will cut down your 4th down gambles in 2022 now that you’ve seen this.

  3. He is just laying in the weeds until things shake out and owners WANT to spend money never seen before and their is a bidding war. WHY NOT? It’s going to happen.

  4. How does this work regarding the Rooney rule? Because once it’s public that a team has interviewed Payton, why would any other candidates bother interviewing there as well?

  5. Between 2012 and 2016 the Saints *didn’t get one conference title and that isn’t exactly a division of titans down there.

  6. Payton isn’t going to Dallas to have his hands tied by the worst GM in the league.

  7. So the Chargers and Dolphins are both going to give up on their first and second year coaches? Payton is good, but not that good.

  8. I think he could coach all 3 of those teams simultaneously, given what they have been used to.

  9. Nothing like running your team into the ground looking for the perfect coach, McDaniel must be thrilled.

  10. If he comes to Dallas it signals he’s only in it for the money, like when Parcells did it. I am a Dallas fan from 1960, but I recognize with the culture that Jones breeds they will never be a serious contender as long as Jones is the GM. They have actually overcome him and drafted reasonably well, but they will never have the heart needed to win big with him running things. They are the definition of soft and frontrunners. August’s champions.

  11. One Super Bowl win with a HOF QB the entire time. So why is this guy in such high demand?

  12. He won’t get control in Dallas and the roster and QB are overrated.
    Would Ross be such a big tool to not give McDaniel a chance?

  13. footballfan4ever says:
    July 13, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    How does this work regarding the Rooney rule? Because once it’s public that a team has interviewed Payton, why would any other candidates bother interviewing there as well?


    Good question. I would think that if a team were to invite interviewees and none accepted, they would be given credit. And if candidates were invited, I doubt they would all turn it down, especially guys who haven’t gotten such interviews yet. For guys just getting started at that level, it would still be useful experience with little to lose.

  14. My bet is on the Chargers. Staley is a defensive guy that will waste Herbert’s rookie contract with no playoff appearances and a reputation for stupid 4th down gambles from his own 20.

  15. Always thought he was a little overated. The one superbowl win wouldn’t have happened without an onside kick. They really seemed to have underperformed.

  16. The Cowboys already have Payton. His name is Mike McCarthy. They have pretty much the same record, and underachieved massively with a Hall of Fame quarterback.

  17. Dream on. Why do some people insist on ignoring the fact Peyton retired from coaching, not resigned from the saints?

  18. Sean Payton quit on the Saints. No more Drew Brees. A roster that was waaay over the salary cap without many stars. He quit so he could find a better opportunity. “Retiriing”…what a joke.

  19. The Chargers would be a good fit for Payton. The Payton’s Saints often snatched defeat from the jaws of victory which is a virtual Chargers trademark.

  20. The Saints hold the rights to Sean Payton, who is still under contract. Jon Gruden was traded for two 1st and two 2nd round picks. Sean Payton is better than Jon Gruden. Sean Payton will coach in 2023 for a team that pays the Saints enough draft compensation, absent that he better be good in the broadcast booth.

  21. If he coaches anywhere in 2023 be forewarned that he is under contract with the Saints and he won’t come cheap.

  22. Wow! I knew he was good! But the first guy to coach three teams at once! Wow!


  23. The Cowboys seems like the obvious spot, right? That is where he made his name with Parcells. Miami just hired a new Head Coach, why would they part ways with him this quickly (though I do acknowledge the Dolphins franchise doesnt always use their brains…). The Chargers would be an intriguing spot because the roster is ready to compete. But if they have a successful season and take another step forward, why would they ditch their HC? Which goes back to Dallas. Where Payton “started”. Where the HC is on thin ice. Where the team has invested heavily in a QB who is desperate for an offensive mind to take him to the next level.

  24. No way that Payton goes to Miami. The ‘Phins have hired a minority HC in Mike McDaniel, if Mike McDaniel is replaced with a non-minority HC, people’s feelings will be hurt.

  25. The Panthers are lucky they don’t land their targets. Deshaun Watson would have really set them back…being a Bucs fan, that’s fine with me, although I love the people in Carolina. I’m glad they didn’t get Payton though…whom I thought was retiring? Guess not.

  26. For the last time, those Brady rumors were never real and fail the logic test at every level. Bucs still had his rights and would have demanded major compensation. So much so Brady would’ve would have likely waited for details on that before committing because he sure wasn’t going to end his career on a team that had completely crippled themselves to get him. And the owner/GM stuff is directly against league rules so was never going to happen.

  27. If I’m Payton I’m like, “OK but any reasonable person will realize you must give me at least 2x what you gave Matt Rhule.”

  28. I have to laugh at the trolls and haters out there.

    I can appreciate being miffed and saddened that he retired but I’m always a bit floored by the narrative that he “quit” on the Saints.

    He came here during a time when nobody wanted to be here and brought a culture of success we’ve never experienced including a Super Bowl title.

    He took a decent young QB that could barely throw after a severe shoulder injury and turned him into a HOF QB

    He was suspended for a witch-hunt and came back and brought us to the playoffs immediately. He rebuilt the team after a few years of struggle and made us one of the winningest teams in football between 2017-2021.

    He was robbed of another title in 2018 and suffered as one of the most targeted coaches (penalties) in the league that definitely effected his ability to get to another Super Bowl.

    He coached a decimated team to 9 wins with 4 QBs and during a game against the Dolphins that was a mockery of the sport.

    He got the most out of Jameis Winston that any pro coach ever has.

    All the while he never phoned it in. He gave his heart and his passion to the city and brought unprecedented success to one of the smallest markets in professional sports.

    What else does he owe the Saints?

    What else does he owe New Orleans?

    He’s not our coach anymore. He’s moved on to something else. Just like Drew, just like all of our legends.

    He didn’t quit on us. He gave more than anyone else ever has.

  29. No one likes to recall referee blunders. That noncall in the Rams/Saints NFC Championship game is up there with the worst officiating mistakes ever.

  30. Since Marty Shottenheimer was fired, the Chargers have exclusively shopped for head coaches in the bargain bin? They probably could have had Andy Reid. A lot of teams will probably be bidding for Payton’s services. I assure you, unless Spanos sells the team, the Chargers won’t be one of them.

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