The Saints had been compelled to conduct a training search weeks after different HC-seeking groups went by way of theirs, after Payton stepped down from his 16-year gig.
They ended up selling Dennis Allen, giving the ex-Raiders HC a second likelihood. Although the Saints are nonetheless in competition for the NFC South title, they’re 6-9 and will hit double-digit losses for the primary time since 2005 — the franchise’s closing pre-Payton yr.
GM Mickey Loomis and proprietor Gayle Benson are sturdy supporters of Allen, per Duncan, who notes Payton’s longtime DC is well-liked all through the group.
It would make for a traditionally uncommon transfer for the Saints and Payton to reunite after one yr aside, however Loomis stays shut along with his former coworker.
And the Saints maintain Payton’s rights by way of 2024. It could be attention-grabbing to see if one other workforce was keen to make a considerable commerce supply for Payton, Florio provides that if Payton coaches wherever subsequent season, it will likely be again in New Orleans.
Payton has already begun work on assembling a employees and has studied rosters and cap conditions across the league, per Duncan, so it shouldn’t be assumed the Saints — who’ve featured a somewhat notable roster subject since Drew Brees‘ retirement — have a runaway lead right here.
But them being again within the combine units the desk for what could be some of the fascinating transactions in trendy teaching historical past.
Payton, 58, has been related to a couple groups, however avenues towards the positions that cropped up this offseason are closing.
The Cowboys and Chargers are heading to the playoffs, and whereas neither Mike McCarthy nor Brandon Staley are locks to return, each are prone to keep on of their current roles.
The Dolphins, as you might have heard, precipitated fairly a stir by exhibiting curiosity in Payton — to the purpose they had been docked first- and third-round picks for tampering with he and Tom Brady.
Although Mike McDaniel‘s workforce is fading, it will shock if Stephen Ross made him a one-and-done given the progress Tua Tagovailoa has made this season.
The Broncos and Panthers are each believed to be enthusiastic about Payton, however Florio provides neither workforce appeals to the present FOX analyst. (The Saints buying and selling Payton to the Panthers is a near-impossible state of affairs to ascertain as properly.)
Payton returning to New Orleans would seemingly wall off a quest to turn into the primary head coach to win Super Bowls with two completely different groups. Several HCs — Don Shula, Dick Vermeil, Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Mike Holmgren, John Fox and Andy Reid — have coached two franchises to Super Bowls, however none has negotiated the hurdle of successful it with each.
Returning to New Orleans would additionally imply a renewed search to discover a long-term Brees successor, and the recent report of Payton eyeing Vic Fangio to be his defensive coordinator upon returning additional complicates Allen’s standing.
Allen loved two excursions underneath Payton with the Saints, being the workforce’s secondary coach from 2008-10 and its DC from 2015-21. Another report indicated Allen was likely safe from being a one-and-done, however Payton being again in play might definitely change that.
At the top of an unremarkable season, it seems the Saints shall be a central determine within the 2023 offseason.
They might have the possibility to rehire one of the best head coach in workforce historical past or commerce him for a package deal that would embody a first-round choose.