EDIT – This article was written before Sean Payton retired.
New Orleans Saints fans are nervous with the recent news that Sean Payton returning to coach the team in 2022 isn’t a guarantee. This team was able to go 9-8 despite starting four different quarterbacks and having a terrible offense because of Payton and what he provides as a head coach.
The rumblings have been going on for years quite honestly but this one seems to have more steam to it. Ian Rapoport reported that Payton isn’t committed to returning in 2022 and then Mike Garafolo hopped on the call with news that TV networks are interested in adding the long-time head coach to their crew.
Saints fans are used to hearing rumors about Payton leaving. He’s always getting linked to the Dallas Cowboys due to his ties to the city and organization yet when the dust settles, Payton is right back in the Big Easy doing what he does best.
This time around does feel a little eerier, however. Drew Brees is enjoying retirement and despite the winning record this past season, it had to have been an incredibly stressful season for Payton. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if he did end up leaving to either go into TV or even coach another team.
If Payton does leave, let’s check out five potential replacements for the long-time Saints head coach.