FOX Sports is reportedly considering hiring suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton to become a part of its crew during next season, and it is sure to be met with some interesting criticism from the public.
New York Times Judy Battista is reporting that CBS, ESPN and NBC have all said that they will not be hiring Payton, but that FOX is at least considering it, via ProFootballTalk.
“Our feeling about Sean is that he’s bright, articulate and obviously contemporary,” FOX senior vice president for communications Lou D’Ermilio told Battista. “Any network with NFL rights would have to consider it.”
The NFL has come out with a statement on the matter, as well: "He is suspended from the NFL for the season. His involvement in any non-NFL employment or business matters is not our decision."
But Payton has to make money somehow, right?
He was suspended earlier this week for the entire 2012-13 football season without pay, meaning he will not be receiving his $7 million salary this season. Sources have told ESPN he will most likely be losing $5.8 million.
However, if FOX is truly serious about hiring Payton, they will be receiving some real criticism from people against the "pay for play" issue. The issue in itself has come under real scrutiny over the last month, but glorifying the man overseeing the program that goes against NFL policy is a whole different issue.
Payton does have a good personality and could probably share some in-depth knowledge of the NFL, but making him a household face every single Sunday on one of the most-watched stations during football season is taking it a bit too far.
There has been no word from Payton as to whether he will take the position if it is offered, but he has to pay the bills somehow. Talking about the sport he knows and loves is probably not a bad way of doing things—just ask the other former players and coaches on that FOX set.
He and FOX must be aware that if this does go through, it will not be met with the kindest of reactions.