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Payton, Saints Nearing Extension
Thursday, Jan. 14
Loomis also denied having contact with other teams about acquiring Payton's rights, according to Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate.
Payton, 52, had long been rumored to be heading elsewhere after a second straight 7-9 season. The Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts reportedly had interest in Payton before moving on, according to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel and ESPN's Adam Schefter (h/t ABC News), respectively.
Miami hired former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, while Indianapolis retained incumbent coach Chuck Pagano.
The Saints announced on Jan. 6 that Payton would return, which allowed those franchises and any others looking to kick the tires to move on. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer had previously reported that New Orleans set a price of a second-round pick to acquire Payton's rights (via Will Brinson of CBSSports.com).
"This is where I plan on coaching. I don't envision myself coaching any other club," Payton told reporters at a press conference last week. "Here I am, and nothing is changing, and I plan on finishing my career here. ... I'll be here as long as they'll have me."
Payton has two years remaining on the five-year, $40 million contract he signed in 2012. The deal made him the NFL's highest-paid coach, a title he currently shares with Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks.
It's unclear if Payton will receive a raise under the terms of an extension, though that is typically common practice.
Payton has compiled an 87-57 record in nine seasons with the Saints, making the playoffs five times and winning three division championships. He led them to their first Super Bowl championship in 2009 but has seen a marked decline in performance in the last two years.
New Orleans ranked eighth in points per game in 2015, which became a problem because of its historically bad defense. Opposing teams threw for a record 45 touchdowns against the Saints secondary, and the team allowed an NFL-worst 476 points during the regular season.
With a cap situation that can be described as onerous at best, the road to improvement in 2016 may prove difficult. At the very least, though, Payton will have long-term job security to navigate it.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.