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Sean Payton contract situation puts some coaches on hotter seat

November 05, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Suspended New Orleans Coach Sean Payton will be a free agent at the end of this season, according to reports that surfaced Sunday that the NFL had voided his 2011 contract extension with the Saints.
Suspended New Orleans Coach Sean Payton will be a free agent at the end of… (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty…)

Sean Payton is not allowed to coach in the NFL this season. And now there's a possibility that when he returns to the sidelines, it may not be with the New Orleans Saints.

As first reported by ESPN on Sunday, the multiyear contract extension Payton signed with the Saints in 2011 has been voided by the NFL because of a clause that said the coach could leave if General Manager Mickey Loomis were suspended, fired or left the team.

If Payton has no contract with the Saints once the season ends, many people think Dallas owner Jerry Jones would make an offer that the former Cowboys assistant coach might have trouble ignoring. Jones' team is 3-5 this season, 16-16 under current Coach Jason Garrett and in danger of missing the playoffs for a third straight year. Payton and his family live in the Dallas area.

And then there's Philadelphia. Longtime Eagles Coach Andy Reid is on the hot seat, and Sports Illustrated's Peter King thinks owner Jeffrey Lurie might go hard after Payton, his former quarterbacks coach.

But chances are there won't even be a Payton sweepstakes at the end of the season. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer quoted Payton as saying he "absolutely plans'' to stay with the team he coached to victory in Super Bowl XLIV.

And the Saints reportedly are angry this information even got out, which would lead one to believe they have no intention of letting their coach walk, especially since they are 2-5 without him this season.

Still, there's a question that's begging to be asked (in fact, King has already done so): If both sides want this to happen so badly, why hasn't Payton's contract with the Saints been fixed and signed already?

Seems like things might get at least a little more interesting before the situation is resolved.

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