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New Orleans Saints keeping Dennis Allen as head coach in 2023

Dennis Allen
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The first year without Sean Payton as the New Orleans Saints head coach didn’t go swimmingly. Yet a 7-10 season is still better than most anticipated in Dennis Allen’s first season at the helm as he took over a situation with no defined starting quarterback.

Now, as rumors of Payton potentially returning to the NFL continue to circulate, one idea that’s been raised is of him simply resuming in his previous role as the Saints’ head coach.

Considering Payton is still under contract with the Saints stemming from before he took a year off in 2022, if the former Super Bowl-winning coach wants to return to an NFL sideline, picking right back up where he left off may be easiest.

Then again, what kind of message does that send to the Saints locker room, hiring Allen for just one year, only to then either fire or demote him back to defensive coordinator? Not to mention, there’s also the possibility that Payton doesn’t have much interest in taking over the Saints once again.

In fact, according to Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, Allen won’t be headed anywhere. He’s set to return as the head coach of the Saints, which Loomis confirmed when speaking with the media on Friday.

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New Orleans Saints provide update on Sean Payton trade

NFL: New Orleans Saints-Press Conference
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

So, where does that leave Sean Payton?

According to Loomis, any team hoping to negotiate a contract with Payton must first have a trade agreement with the Saints in place first. Yet, he noted that interested teams already have knowledge of what New Orleans is seeking in a trade.

It’s been said that the Saints are seeking at least a first-round pick from the team that eventually agrees to a new contract with Payton. This is a price that is in line with several other head coach trades in the NFL’s history.

So far, Arizona, Denver, and Houston are the teams who have been granted permission by the Saints to interview Payton for their current head coaching vacancy.

Payton, who holds a career 152-89 record as an NFL head coach in the regular season, is expected to be a hot commodity this offseason.

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