Report: Sean Payton 'Definitely More Likely Than Not' to Return to TV amid NFL Rumors

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2023

Sean Payton reacts during an NFL football press conference announcing his resignation as head coach of the New Orleans Saints, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Metairie, La. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
AP Photo/Derick Hingle

Sean Payton's coaching hiatus may continue for another year.

The NFL Network's Mike Garafolo said Wednesday that "it's definitely more likely than not that Sean Payton goes back and does another year of TV rather than coaching in the NFL."

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

From NFL Now on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a>, to steal a line from my pal <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffDuncan_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JeffDuncan_</a>, the longer this goes for Sean Payton, the more it seems he's headed back to FOX for another year. <a href="https://t.co/FbkhvF0VZb">pic.twitter.com/FbkhvF0VZb</a>

Payton has interviewed with the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans and will meet with the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday. It's also possible another team is lurking:

Dianna Russini @diannaESPN

Also to add to <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffDuncan_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JeffDuncan_</a> reportingโ€”I was told there is also a team waiting in the wings watching all of this and could make a move if they gets "their ducks in a row". <a href="https://t.co/A5Uqgssh2h">https://t.co/A5Uqgssh2h</a>

The complication in the process is that Payton wasn't fired by the New Orleans Saints but rather retired after the 2021 season, so any team that wants to hire him will have to negotiate a trade.

And the Saints have made it clear that they plan on getting good value in return for Payton.

"We haven't settled on exactly what the compensation is going to be yet, but they're well aware that there is going to be compensation," general manager Mickey Loomis told reporters earlier in January.

"It's going to be different for every team because they have different picks and different things available to them," he added. "They have to get our permission to have a discussion with him, and then we have to have the compensation settled before they can actually hire him."

Payton, 59, went 152-89 in 15 seasons as the Saints head coach, leading the team to nine playoff berths and one Super Bowl title. He's easily the biggest name on the coaching market, though the likelihood of his returning to Fox Sports as a studio analyst is reportedly growing.

Outside of the teams Payton has interviewed with or plans to interview with, the Indianapolis Colts also are looking for a new head coach after firing Frank Reich (3-5-1) midseason and replacing him with Jeff Saturday, who went just 1-7 in his interim role.