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Reports: Saints head coach Sean Payton stepping down

Sportsnaut
Nov 25, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in the second half against the Buffalo Bills at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 25, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in the second half against the Buffalo Bills at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is stepping down, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

A news conference was set for Tuesday afternoon.

Payton, 58, led the Saints to the Super Bowl championship in the 2009 season.

Following a 3-13 season in 2005, the Saints hired Payton as their head coach, and he compiled a 152-89 record in 15 regular seasons and a 9-8 mark in the playoffs. Payton was suspended for the 2012 season over his role in “bountygate.”

He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 2006 after engineering a turnaround that saw the team finish with a 10-6 mark and advance to the NFC Championship game.

Payton spent all but one season — 2021 — with record-setting quarterback Drew Brees by his side, and together, they took the team to the playoffs nine times. They brought a new energy to the franchise and to a city that was recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In 2021, the Saints finished 9-8 and out of the postseason. With Brees retired, the Saints used a quarterback rotation of Jameis Winston, Trevor Siemian, Taysom Hill and rookie Ian Book, necessitated by both injuries and COVID-19 protocol.

Payton has three years remaining on his contract.

The Saints’ vacancy makes it the ninth opening for head coach in the NFL.

On Monday, team owner Gayle Benson addressed the status of her head coach, saying she was unclear of his plans.

“We don’t know. You know, who knows?” Benson told Fox 8 NOLA. “We’ll find out soon enough, I guess. I don’t think any of us know. But he’ll let us know soon enough.”

–Field Level Media