LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 11: Former NFL coach Sean Payton speaks during an interview at SiriusXM’s Day 3 of Super Bowl LVI on February 11, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivian Killilia/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is reportedly eyeing teams for a possible return to the NFL next season.
Payton has resigned after 16 years as head coach of the Saints. Payton led the organization to one Super Bowl 44 championship, three NFC Championship Games and seven NFC South division titles.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers are two teams to watch in the Payton sweepstakes:
Carolina, for example, would probably love the chance to throw a bunch of money at Payton. But my understanding is that he will be agile and look for a position where the QB position is solid in the first place. So I think a lot of people are associating him with a potential Chargers opening. When the job opens up, people will line up to coach Justin Herbert. If not, I’ve been told to look at Arizona as a possible Payton destination (again, assuming there’s an opening).
The Chargers and Cardinals have comfortable quarterback positions with Justin Herbert and Kyler Murray respectively. That said, it’s unclear whether either team will consider a potential manager change after this season.
The Cardinals signed head coach Kliff Kingsbury to a long-term extension that will keep him signed through 2027. The Chargers finished with a winning record (9–8) in their first season under Staley, and they are still in the playoffs with a 5–0 record. 5 plates.
Of course, Arizona’s tendency to unravel under Kingsbury in the second half is well documented. After a great 7-0 start last year, they dropped six of their last 10 games and were eliminated in the Wild Card Round by the Los Angeles Rams.
At 4–7, the Cardinals would need to win to have a slim chance of making the playoffs, but even a 10–7 record may not be enough to qualify.
The Chargers were widely expected to compete for the AFC West after landing two All-Pro defensive players in Khalil Mack and Jesse Jackson in the off-season. But Bolt has been hit hard by the injury all season, so it’s hard to blame Staley for the poor performance.
The bottom line is that if Payton does indeed return to the NFL for 2023, he will undoubtedly be the best name available.