After stepping off the bench after the 2021 season, a big-name manager has his eyes set on a couple of teams to coach next season.
Sean Payton is reportedly eyeing the Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals as candidates he would coach in 2023.
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The former New Orleans Saints head coach is eyeing those teams, as his quarterback situations for the short- and long-term future with Justin Herbert and Kyler Murray look pretty much intact. Murray recently signed a five-year contract extension while Herbert is in the third season of his rookie deal, but it’s hard to imagine the Chargers would let the former sixth overall pick just walk away.
There’s a catch to both Los Angeles and Arizona, though: Payton, though he doesn’t train, is still technically under contract by the saints. Therefore, any team that potentially attracts him would have to give the Saints some form of compensation: The 58-year-old has two years left on his contract.
Payton previously said he would be happy to return to coaching next season, “if the right situation presents itself.”
Payton resigned as the Saints’ head coach in January, stating that coaching “wasn’t where my heart was right now.” But he never ruled out a return.
SAINTS’ SEAN PAYTON ON TRAINING: ‘MY HEART IS NOT HERE RIGHT NOW’
“I still have a vision to do things in football,” Payton said at the time. “And I’ll be honest with you, that could be going back to training at some point.”
Payton began his head coaching career with the Saints in 2006 after serving as an assistant coach with several other teams in the league. With the addition of free agent Drew Brees, Payton led New Orleans to its first playoff appearance in six years with a 10-6 record and a division title in his inaugural season.
Just four years later, he would guide New Orleans to the team’s first Super Bowl victory with a win over the Indianapolis Colts.
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In his 15 seasons as head coach, Payton has a 152-89 record in the regular season and a 9-8 record in the postseason.
The Saints have accumulated seven NFC South titles under Payton’s leadership.