Amidst rumors that New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton could be interested in other coaching jobs, a report came out Sunday that the team would “be inclined” to let him out of his contract if he did choose to pursue other job opportunities.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has the scoop on this story. He wrote on Twitter Sunday morning “If Sean Payton wanted to be a coaching free agent after this year, I’m told the #Saints would be inclined to let him out of his contract.”
This is interesting timing.
When rumors first started surfacing about a potential departure from New Orleans, the Saints were looking dead in the water. At that time, Rapoport reported sources saying Payton was “open” to listening to offers. However, a recent winning surge has propelled this team into legitimate playoff contention.
Should the Saints complete the comeback, make the playoffs and potentially make a run deep into the postseason, then it would be interesting to see if Peyton would still be “open” to moving on.
It’s also worth pointing out that just days before the report of Peyton being “open” to signing with another team — at the college or professional level — he made a point of saying just how happy he is in New Orleans and that reports of his impending departure aren’t something new for him or his family.
“I love it here. I’m close to my children. I bought a — just built a brand new place here. So you get tired of answering the questions and yet I understand you asking. And I’ll say what I said before. This is where I see myself. And I’ve said that now, for however many years.”
If the 4-4 Saints continue winning games this year, then it’s hard to imagine Payton would want to leave. New Orleans is playing host to the one-win Tennessee Titans in Week 9. A win would put the Saints over the .500 mark for the first time all year and would place the team right in the middle of the NFC’s heated wild-card race.
We’ll keep our eyes on this developing, evolving story to see how much truth there are to the rumors.