Sean Payton’s future with the New Orleans Saints is up in the air, and while leaving may not be best for the team, it could be better for him.
Honestly, it hurt to write the title of this story. Who Dat Nation does not want Sean Payton to leave. The New Orleans Saints may not want him to leave. Gumbo does not want him to leave. The reality, though, for Sean Payton, is that leaving is the best thing to do for him and perhaps his family.
There is a saying that ‘all good things must come to an end.’ In this situation, that saying is not fitting. Sean Payton is still young in coaching years — he could coach another 10-15 seasons if he wants. Maybe he stays in New Orleans and brings the team multiple Super Bowl titles. The more reasonable scenario is that Sean Payton should leave. Catching that word “should” is key.
The win on Sunday would be second only to ending his career with another world title. The feeling of beating your most hated rival twice in the same season has got to be sweet. Winning the last game of the year on the road against Atlanta is a great way to go out. Think about it. There is only one coach that gets to raise the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year. There will be 31 other coaches who will not get that chance.
That being said, a chance to end your career beating your bitter rival has to be the second best thing to happen for Sean Payton. Winning a Super Bowl was not in the cards this year. Getting a chance to leave while your stock is high doesn’t come along very often. Sure, the Saints have had two losing seasons in a row and three in the last four years. However, his resume, as a whole, will have many owners salivating at a chance to bring him in.
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The football gods are not always forgiving for the way coaches go out. The Saints have the ability to turn things around — the Carolina Panthers are living proof. The main difference is the quarterback position. Drew Brees will likely be coming back next year in hopes of retiring a Saint when it is all said and done. Brees could have two more successful years, yet it may not be enough to get the Saints back to a Super Bowl.
The Saints’ defense is an absolute disaster. The salary cap issues are so complex that a few CPA’s may be needed to balance the books in 2016. It will only be a matter of time before fans start turning on Sean Payton if the Saints don’t start winning immediately — some fans already have turned.
While it may not be fair to put all the blame on Payton, it comes with the territory of being an NFL coach. Payton can leave New Orleans and still remain a Saint forever. Due to the fanatically involved people of the Who Dat Nation, streets and babies will probably be named after him.
Sean Payton can leave now and preserve his place in New Orleans history. The fact is that what he and Drew Brees have done since Hurricane Katrina is a once in a lifetime event. It’s just time for him to leave on his own terms. That is what’s best for him. It’s not what’s best for the team and its fans. With a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, look for a beginning and not an end. We owe the man everything, yet, the Saints were here long before Payton came. We will survive IF he leaves. We have always survived.