It always seemed likely that Sean Payton was going to get back into coaching. However, the former Super Bowl-winning coach may be back on the sideline sooner than many expected. During a recent appearance on Tom Brady‘s podcast, Payton revealed that he’ll be back in the NFL “sooner than later.”
“I really enjoy the current job I have,” Payton said (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). “But I think relative to coaching, though, I know that I want to coach again and it’s not really been a secret. But I wanna find the right spot. And as Tom alluded to, you know, it’s still about the people. Because when it’s all done and it’s quiet, I don’t think it’s the money or the crowd cheers or the trophies or any of that other stuff. I think it’s about the journey with the people that you really enjoy. . . . So we’ll kind of see what happens. But sooner than later though, in fairness to that question. I think that, you know, if not this year, hopefully next year.”
Following the 2021 season, Payton announced that he’d be stepping down as New Orleans’ head coach. Payton ultimately logged 15 seasons with the Saints, going 152-89 and earning nine playoff appearances. Despite stating that he wanted to temporarily spend time away from the game, the Dolphins made a significant push for Payton but were denied permission from the Saints. It was later revealed that the organization had been having impermissible communication with Payton (and Brady) for years, leading to the loss of draft picks (along with suspensions for owner Stephen M. Ross and VP Bruce Beal).
The Dolphins reportedly offered Payton a five-year, $100MM offer, a contract that would have made him one of the highest-paid coaches in NFL history. Clearly, money isn’t Payton’s main motivation, and based on his comments, there will be many considerations as he eyes his next NFL gig. As Florio notes, a number of head coaching jobs will open up over the upcoming weeks, and it wouldn’t be surprising if one of those organizations makes a run at the former Saints head coach.