After flirting with the possibility of leaving the New Orleans Saints earlier in the offseason, head coach Sean Payton has just agreed to a five-year, $45-plus million extension to remain with the team.
Sean Payton has agreed with the Saints on a 5-year contract extension worth in excess of $45M, per @Edwerderespn.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2016
Payton had this to say in announcing the extension:
“There’s so much of you in there, that I don’t see myself working anywhere else. There’s been really good stability and consistency at ownership.”
This $9 million annual salary will allow Payton to take over the mantle as the highest-paid head coach in the National Football League. It will also quiet rumors that the head coach was entering a lame-duck season with the team he’s led since 2006.
Payton, 52, has led New Orleans to five playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title in nine seasons as its head coach.
Among the red flags on Payton’s coaching resume, he was suspended the entire 2012 season for his alleged role in the Bountygate scandal that swept through the National Football League.
One of the most successful coaches of his era, Payton has not had a ton of luck with an aging Saints roster over the past couple seasons, finishing with a 7-9 record in each of the past two years.
Previously tied with Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks as the highest-paid head coach in the NFL, Payton now takes that title all to himself.
It’s going to be interesting to see if we hear rumors of both Carroll and New England Patriots head man Bill Belichick being in line for extensions that would match or surpass Payton’s $9 million annual salary.
After all, each of these two head coaches have been more successful than Payton himself.
As it relates to Payton and the Saints, continuity is never a bad thing. It’s now time for both sides to continue building up the talent level of a roster that’s quickly falling behind rivals in the NFC South.
If not, he will never see this entire five-year deal through. That’s the harsh reality of today’s NFL.