Sean Payton decided again to squash any potential move to another team next season, per ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett.
“It’s come up every, I’m going to say, two to three years. And I guess … listen, it comes with the territory,” the Saints coach told media. “This is where I call home. I just finished building a home here. I’m close enough to my son back in Dallas where I’m pretty much back there once a week or he’s over here; my daughter is off in college now. So, I see myself coaching this team long past this season.”
Payton made similar comments in October after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Dolphins, and possibly other teams, would make a play for his services after this season. The 10th-year coach has two years remaining on his contract, so such a move would require compensation.
Drew Brees‘ coach for each of his Saints campaigns, Payton also anticipates the 15th-year quarterback to stay in New Orleans next season, when he’ll be 37 and occupy an untenable $30MM salary cap number.
“I understand (the question). It’s the business we’re in. And yet he’s playing at a very high level,” Payton told media. “His mechanics, his arm strength has been outstanding. Two weeks ago in Tampa Bay, he made a throw down the sideline and into the wind in Cover 2 that was unbelievable. So, yes, to answer your question, I do (expect him back).”
Here is some more news emerging from the Southern divisions.
- Tevin Coleman slipped in the shower at the Falcons‘ facility and entered the concussion protocol as a result, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. The rookie runner who began the season as Atlanta’s starter has 392 yards on 87 carries this season.
- The Jaguars recouped an undisclosed amount of Justin Blackmon‘s bonus money despite the embattled receiver going on his second full-season absence from the league, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports. Previous reports indicated the Jaguars were keeping the former top-10 pick on their roster to recoup as much as $4MM of Blackmon’s signing bonus, instead of cutting him and not reacquiring any money. O’Halloran estimates, with Blackmon accruing another DUI this month, the receiver’s suspension has no end in sight and the Jags could conceivably keep him on their roster for years, with it not costing any cap space to do so.
- After T.Y. Hilton criticized the Colts‘ game plan for a lack of deep shots, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski indicated the team’s tenuous situation has limited the number of downfield strikes he’s willing to attempt, according to an Associated Press report. This isn’t the first time in-house criticism of play-calling’s surfaced, with since-deposed OC Pep Hamilton receiving his share previously this season.
- Including Chuck Pagano only being offered a one-year extension and Ryan Grigson‘s failure to upgrade the Colts’ offensive line, the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer examines the main components that led to the Colts’ tumble this season.