When legendary former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton walked away following the 2021 NFL season, it was somewhat of a surprise.
Regarded as one of the best coaches of the modern era, the 58-year-old Payton opted to turn in his head set for a broadcast booth with Fox.
This didn’t stop rumors from popping up that Payton’s “retirement” might be short-lived with suggestions of interest from the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.
We now have more information on this via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Citing a source close to the situation, Payton “was flattered by Miami’s interest to become their coach this season but also preferred to take a break from coaching in 2022.”
A report back in June noted that Miami had offered Payton a four-year, $100 million deal to become its head coach before the organization turned its attention to San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel.
The source in this most-recent report told Jackson that Payton would not openly lobby for a filled job. However, Miami is one of the teams that would interest him upon a potential return in 2023.
Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers also interest Sean Payton
Jackson’s report also mentions the Cowboys should they opt to move off Mike McCarthy following the 2022 season. Dallas has long been linked to its former assistant head coach. Payton was a member of the Cowboys’ coaching staff from 2003-05.
The Chargers would interest Payton given the fact that a warm-weather city and the ability to golf is attractive for the Super Bowl-winning head coach.
It stands to reason that current Chargers head coach Brandon Staley would be on the hot seat if they fail to make the playoffs after melting down in a do-or-die Week 18 game against the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders last season.
Based on his track record of success, it wouldn’t be a surprise if a number of teams showed interest in Payton should he opt to return to an NFL sideline in 2023.
For now, Payton has more than kept that possibility open.
At 58 years old, it stands to reason that Payton wouldn’t be done with coaching. Rather, the decision to step away from the Saints’ job had more to do with his personal life and simply wanting to try something new.
Things change. And if Payton does decide this Fox television gig is not for him, there wouldn’t be a shortage of interest in him around the NFL next winter. That’s for sure.