Coach will be hottest commodity in NFL’s 23-year hiring cycle – The Athletic

Sean Payton will be the most sought-after head coach in the market in 2023.

After leaving the Saints in somewhat surprising fashion on Tuesday, the 58-year-old will take some time to recharge before plotting his next move. Payton determined he needed a break after a grueling 15th year in New Orleans, marked by the retirement of quarterback Drew Brees, a temporary relocation to Texas due to Hurricane Ida and a couple of tough COVID outbreaks. -19. The Saints started four quarterbacks due to injuries, including Jameis Winston’s torn ACL, and Payton even tried to convince Brees to return for a season-ending stretch run.

So when the lights went out in the 2021 season — the Saints still finished 9-8 and were one game away from the playoffs — Payton took a few weeks to think about it and find the conviction in his decision. There is no immediate path forward. He could travel the media circuit to try an avenue that piqued his curiosity, but it won’t be long before other NFL teams try to lure him for another coaching opportunity.

The foundations have been laid there for some time.

Many teams have inquired about Payton’s availability over the years, according to a source. They wondered if the Saints would release him from his contract due to various circumstances surrounding the organization.

It would have been a rare move, but not unheard of by Payton.

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