Ever since rumors spread that former Saints head coach Sean Payton was looking to return to the sidelines next season, the pundits have done their best to team him up with different quarterbacks.
Is Sean Payton Returning To NFL?
Names like Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert have surfaced. Another name that’s surfaced is the 45-year-old Tom Brady, who’s contract in Tampa is up at season’s end. Just two weeks ago Brady let it be known he isn’t exactly ready to retire, so immediately the Payton/Brady package deal became a thing.
Sean Payton And Tom Brady?
Recently, Payton the Super Bowl-winning coach, let it be known that he and the seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback haven’t discussed teaming up.
In an interview with Peter Schaefer of NFL Network, Payton was pretty straightforward about the rumors, which are false, based on his comments.
“I tell you what,” Payton said. “No, I think that there are a number of things that can play into Tom’s decision, when, I can’t speak for Tom. I haven’t talked to Tom. I’m certainly a big fan.”
Payton also says that while he and Brady have a great relationship, and actually share the same agent in Don Yee, the notion of him and Brady together next season is far-fetched.
“Over the years we’ve kept in touch, never worked together. I think there’s too many variables in that equation. If we work together, there’s a good chance it’s going to be with Fox,” Payton said with a smirk.
A Tom Brady & Sean Payton package deal?
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) January 7, 2023
As great as Brady is, Payton wants to get his hands on a younger quarterback that he can continue to mold. Not one who’s 45 and would have a ton of say in how the offense was orchestrated.
Broncos And Cardinals To Pursue Payton:
Payton’s track record as a QB guru is well-documented. He played a vital role in the development of former Cowboys QB Tony Romo before departing for New Orleans.
Down on the bayou, Payton and Drew Brees made aerial magic while leading the franchise to its only Super Sunday win in 2009. They also turned a dormant Saints franchise into an offensive juggernaut and consistent winners. The minute Brees retired, Payton seemed lost and disinterested on the sidelines.
In many ways, Payton became spoiled, with an all-time great leading his offense, and when he didn’t have that anymore he stepped away.
Now he’s ready to jump back in the saddle, and with teams like the Cardinals and Broncos in total disarray, Payton could end up in either spot. In fact, the Broncos have already requested spoken with Payton and he confirmed that contact on Sunday. Payton’s rights are still owned by the Saints, so the Broncos would have to give up compensation to land his services.
What’s attractive about those two spots? Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson, two talented signal-callers who struggled mightily in 2022.
According to the folks in Vegas, the Arizona Cardinals are the current favorites to land Sean Payton.
Plus, J.J. Watt speaks on retirement announcement.
🚨LIVE AT 4PM🚨
— Johnny Venerable (@JohnnyVenerable) December 28, 2022
Other Possible Destinations For Sean Payton
The Chargers made the playoffs for the first time in head coach Brandon Staley and star QB Justin Herbert’s tenure together. But Staley is no Payton by any stretch of the imagination.
Then there’s the Browns, who have their star signal-caller Deshaun Watson back and may look to move on from Kevin Stefanski.
Last but not least is the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott, who under current head coach Mike McCarthy, a Super Bowl-winning coach, is also feeling the heat of needing a long playoff run to feel good about his job security. That despite owner Jerry Jones trying to make us believe he’s safe no matter what. Jones won’t say it, but he feels as if Payton was the one who got away back in the day as an assistant under Bill Parcells with the Boys.
Per reports, Payton also still makes his offseason home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
There were rumors of him taking over the Dallas job earlier in the season.