The end of the New Orleans Saints game against the Philadelphia Eagles last night signaled the beginning of the season for general manager Mickey Loomis who is returning from an eight-game suspension as a result of the bounty investigation.
Now that that is behind him, he now has to spend the first day back formulating a new contract for suspended head coach Sean Payton. Payton’s current contact extension was voided by the NFL due to a clause in the contract.
The clause that was a concern for the NFL was that it would allow Payton to not be obligated to stay if Loomis was fired, suspended or quit the organization.
This has spearheaded mass speculation by such writer’s like NFL.com’s Alber Breer that Payton could be headed to another team like the Dallas Cowboys because he has talked to “folks familiar” with both parties.
The reading of the tea leaves by such stories has caused a bit of panic with Who Dat’s. I was asked by at least 12 people at the game last night did I think Payton will leave. The answer is “No.”
Even ESPN commentator John Gruden said this last night,
“I don’t care what was reported, I know Sean Payton and he’s gonna be right back here in New Orleans.”
Likewise, players like tight end Jimmy Graham and quarterback Drew Brees feel Payton will return. Brees told WWL 870AM sideline reporter Kristian Garic,
“I have no doubt Payton will be back. I think it’s a lot of speculation and people trying to make something out of nothing.”
Loomis will now be tasked with doing what he does best and spin the numbers and work to silence the speculation that Payton is going anywhere except back to the Saints sidelines when he returns next season.