It doesn’t make any sense to me, yet it happens every offseason: the Sean Payton leaving the New Orleans Saints speculation.
Who’s to say that Payton isn’t happy where he is? He’s been the head coach in New Orleans since 2006. He’s won a Super Bowl and designed some of the most potent offenses in NFL history. He’s turned the Saints into a perennial playoff contender, even in a 2021 season when Murphy’s Law was in full effect in terms of roster personnel.
And for all of his accomplishments in the Big Easy, he would rather leave for so-called “greener pastures”? I don’t think so.
Fewer coaches have his autonomy, a stable organizational culture supporting him and a roster with the level of talent that the Saints have. But every year, we find ourselves asking “what if” when it comes to Sean Payton leaving New Orleans.
Sean Payton’s name appears in coaching rumors every year, but why would he leave the Saints?
Usually, those rumors center around the Cowboys, who were a playoff bust under Mike McCarthy this year. Payton was a coach in Dallas before being named Saints head coach.
There’s also been some smoke around him leaving for the NY Giants, a team he also used to coach, as well as the Chicago Bears. He’s even been rumored to leave the Saints for a television gig, just like Drew Brees did with NBC after the 2020 season.
But why? What would make any of these destinations more appealing than New Orleans? Dallas has a good roster but so do the Saints. The Giants are rebuilding their entire front office and have plenty of question marks. Ditto the Bears, although they do have an intriguing talent in Justin Fields.
The most puzzling thing about these Sean Payton rumors is that they only seem to revolve around him. What about Bill Belichick, though? John Harbaugh? Pete Carroll? Mike Tomlin? Andy Reid?
You never hear any of those names floated around year-to-year as wanting to leave their current posts. Sean Payton has been as good as any of those coaches during his time with the Saints.
The Saints have given Sean Payton everything he could ever desire, and vice versa. And that relationship still looks as strong as ever. So let’s put these rumors aside.
Your team isn’t naming Sean Payton as its next head coach.