Sean Payton, the most coveted Super Bowl-winning coach this NFL training cycle, is expected to speak with several teams with head coaching vacancies in the coming weeks.
There are several factors at play during the interview process, and a return to television could also be in play.
Discussing the betting odds on Payton’s next destination with his daughter, Meghan, on the first episode of her show, Payton’s Place, on YouTube this week, Payton joked:
“And the last box we miss is FOX,” he said. “Like what are the odds he’ll go back to FOX and pay for Meghan’s wedding next year?”
Hey, maybe that’s an option.
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Payton is expected to speak with the Denver Broncos in Los Angeles on Tuesday, reports say. The Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans were also cleared to interview him from the New Orleans Saints.
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The Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts also have vacant coaching positions, while other teams like the Los Angeles Chargers or the Dallas Cowboys, with whom Payton has been linked since leaving the position of the Saints last year, could potentially fire their coaches after the playoffs.
“I think in the next 2-3 weeks we will have some clarity with these teams. I’m sure there’s a sense of urgency that they have,” Payton said.
“And I think everyone right now is interviewing their six or seven candidates, trying to be really thorough and going through that process. So, I imagine in the month.
Among the factors Payton will consider: owner, management, quarterbacks and divisions.
Payton said the Kansas City Chiefs, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and coach Andy Reid “aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.”
He also mentioned that Los Angeles Chargers star Justin Herbert is the franchise’s quarterback for the foreseeable future.
“These are challenges,” Payton said. “If a team like Denver wants to get where they want to go, they have to go through these (teams), especially Kansas City.”
Regarding the conference, Payton also mentioned that quarterbacks like Mahomes, Herbert, Bills star Josh Allen, Bengals star Joe Burrow and Ravens starter Lamar Jackson give the AFC the edge over the NFC.
“I think it’s more talented in the AFC in that position than in the NFC,” Payton said.
At the top of Payton’s list, however, is his working relationship with team leadership.
Payton said he appreciates the bonds he shared with Saints management during his 16 years with the franchise, including owner Gayle Benson, late Saints owner Tom Benson, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and Saints president Dennis Lauscha.
“That still counts as No. 1,” Payton said of the relationships, “and you deal with the division after that.”
The Saints, who hold the contractual rights to Payton until 2024, expect compensation from the team that ultimately hires him for this practice cycle.