Report: ’50-50′ chance Sean Payton leaves the Saints after 2015 season

By Jesse Reed

Sean Payton might be considering leaving the New Orleans Saints after the 2015 season, and a new report estimates there is about a “50-50” chance this happens.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports on this developing story:

“With legal drama engulfing New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and the NFL keeping close tabs on a potential ownership change, there is a “steadily increasing possibility” that head coach Sean Payton and some front-office executives will exit the franchise in the offseason, a league source told Yahoo Sports,” Robinson wrote Monday night.

There is a possibility that Benson’s daughter Renee could gain control of the franchise, which could send ripples throughout the organization, per Robinson.

“If [Renee Benson] gets control of the team, a lot of people [in the franchise] are worried that she could fire everyone who has been loyal to Tom,” the league source said. “They’re waiting to see what happens.”

As we passed along on Sunday, Payton could be allowed to leave the Saints if he is interested in other options, regardless of any potential change in ownership, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. He reported early Sunday morning that New Orleans “would be inclined” to release Payton from his contract if he wanted to leave.

Robinson, after following up with his contacts, thinks the Saints might want compensation to make such a move, however.

There has been growing speculation the head coach could move on since the start of the season when the Saints got off to a poor start and college jobs started opening up. And, perhaps after New Orleans was beaten at home by the previously one-win Tennessee Titans in overtime, rumors will continue heating up.

And Lord knows, there will be plenty of NFL jobs opening up after this season that could be attractive.¬†With Drew Brees’ career clearly winding down as he begins to move past his mid-30s, and given so much turmoil regarding ownership, the draw to move on to greener pastures could become quite alluring.

That said, there is still plenty of season left for the 4-5 Saints in 2015, however, and the NFC South is still very much up for grabs.