Saints Rumors: Dennis Allen, Aaron Glenn Likely HC Targets After Sean Payton Retires

Adam WellsJanuary 25, 2022

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen watches practice during NFL football training camp in Metairie, Friday, July 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
AP Photo/Derick Hingle

The New Orleans Saints suddenly find themselves in the market for a new head coach. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday that Sean Payton informed Saints ownership he is stepping down. 

Rapaport added Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, who has been with the team since 2015, is considered the leading candidate to replace Payton. Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is also expected to interview for the job.

Payton has been one of the NFL's best head coaches since being hired by the Saints in 2006. 

Allen was one of Payton's top lieutenants for the past seven seasons. The 49-year-old was originally hired as a senior defensive assistant in 2015, but he took over as defensive coordinator midway through the season when Rob Ryan was fired. 

The Saints have had a top-eight defense by Football Outsiders' DVOA in each of the past five seasons, including the No. 3 unit in 2021. They have finished in the top five in points allowed per game each of the past two seasons. 

Allen is already being considered for other head-coaching vacancies this offseason. 

Per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, the Chicago Bears will interview Allen sometime this week. 

Glenn just finished his first season as Lions defensive coordinator under head coach Dan Campbell. He worked on Payton's staff as defensive backs coach from 2016-20. 

As a player, Glenn's final season was with the Saints in 2008. He only appeared in four games because of an ankle injury. 

During Payton's tenure as head coach, the Saints made it to the playoffs nine times and won seven division titles. He led them to the franchise's only championship to date when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV in 2009. 

The Saints finished the 2021 season with a 9-8 record.