Sean Payton’s candidacy for head coaching roles is about to come to a really disappointing end, if reports are to believed.
Sean Payton appears to be interested in getting back to the NFL coaching world, but only if the job is right. So far, no such fit has presented itself according to NFL reports.
The most likely job appeared to have been the Denver Broncos opening, however, there are several issues with that role. Since the Saints own Payton’s contractual coaching rights, the Broncos would need to provide the Saints with some sort of compensation — draft picks — to convince them it’s worth their while to waive his rights. That would mean Payton is coming into work with a possibly declining, aging QB in Russell Wilson (with loads of guaranteed money left, don’t forget), a defense that traded away a strong piece this season, and without many draft picks to get creative with a way-forward if things don’t go according to plan.
So it’s not a huge surprise to hear the most likely resolution to this year’s Payton interviews…
Sean Payton’s most likely destination is a return to TV
Benjamin Allbright is reporting there isn’t a big market out there for Payton, and that his most likely destination is right back at FOX Studios next season:
From everything I’ve heard it doesn’t appear Sean Payton has much of a market.
Jobs he wanted didn’t open, and outside of Denver (we’ll see about AZ) there just hasn’t been much interest.
Strong possibility he goes back to TV.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) January 24, 2023
Payton is undoubtedly the coach that teams want. This is less a mark on Payton’s coaching abilities, which are undeniable, but more a fact of the nature of the deal with Payton. Not only does he want Bill Belichick money, the team that signs him also needs to give up those draft picks.
After seeing the Broncos make silly choices on proven names with no proof of what they can actually do before agreeing to long-term, guaranteed money last season and failing to even make the postseason, teams are probably a little skittish about moving too aggressively.
Ironically, the Broncos are the only team that seems to have not learned from its own mistake. Part of the reason behind that is the guy they’re paying too much money is doing their recruiting.
From the jump, Payton has said on TV he loves his TV job. It’s never been a sure thing that he would come back to coach. And him not coming back now doesn’t preclude him from coming back in a coming offseason, either.