Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who will work as a studio analyst for Fox Sports this NFL season, told USA Today's Jarrett Bell on Tuesday that he'll likely return to coaching at some point.
"Ultimately, do I think I'll get back in? Sure," he said. "There's no way to predict who that club might be. Usually, there are about six openings every year. If there's a right fit somewhere, that ultimately will depend on several factors."
"We'll deal with it when the time comes," he added.
Payton, 58, stepped down from the New Orleans Saints this offseason after 15 years as the organization's head coach. He led the team to a 152-89 record, nine playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title in the 2009 season.
He was one of the most respected offensive minds in football during his tenure, and were he to return to coaching would immediately be the top candidate for teams with openings.
A source close to Payton told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald last week that the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers were among the teams that would interest the longtime Saints head coach.
The Dolphins have first-year head coach Mike McDaniel at the position, while the Cowboys have Mike McCarthy in place and the Chargers are rolling with second-year head coach Brandon Staley.
It's hard to imagine the Dolphins cutting ties with McDaniel after one season, should Payton decide to return to coaching next year, while a disappointing season from the Cowboys or Chargers—both teams with plenty of talent on the roster—could lead to a coaching shake-up.
If Payton does return to coaching, it's hard to imagine him doing so on a team that doesn't have a contending roster in place. But the market will ultimately determine his options in the coming years, and for the time being, he has a gig with Fox Sports to scratch his football itch.