Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Nov 2012

MMQB: Mr. Payton's Contract

As you might expect, Mr. King talks Chuck Pagano, Sean Payton's contract, and looks at the fallout from Hurricane Sandy.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 05 Nov 2012

14 comments, Last at 09 Nov 2012, 2:41pm by Just Another Saints Fan


by Tom Gower :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:21pm


by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:27pm

Most of the things he thinks are other peoples tweets, and most of his non football thoughts are about football. Reminds me of the Simpsons where Madden keeps commenting during a commercial just to make conversation.

by dryheat :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 3:26pm

You know who had a great wedding? Brett Favre.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:35pm

I knew Benson loved Loomis and Payton, but letting Payton bolt if Loomis left for any reason is an extraordinary move, even if your plan was to never let either guy work elsewhere ever again. First off, it would essentially let Loomis write his own paycheck for as long as Benson wanted Payton as coach. Not a great situation. And it's rather shocking that Benson wouldn't have taken any offense to his $8 million per year to Payton failing to buy any more loyalty than that. Most owners like at the end of the day to the be ones in ultimate control. That deal put Benson at Loomis and Payton's mercy.

by Insancipitory :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:49pm

"Tillman said he told Urlacher, 'Call it, man. The tongue has the power of life and death. Call it, say it, speak it, believe it. He did, and he got in the end zone.'"

If Tillman is a death knight, I have a couple of questions, how many hit dice does he have, and does being nicknamed "Peanut" make him less intimidating?

by Stats are for losers (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:49pm

So, if MMQB is writing haiku, is it time for TMQ to move on to sonnets?

by Paul R :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 3:33pm

Gosh, I hope not. That might make him seem pretentious.

by young curmudgeon :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 9:15pm


by Bonzer (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 3:14pm

The most likely explanation is Payton's agent probably leaked the story to get leverage over Benson and/or Loomis. It is an odd thing to write that clause in a contract. Stranger that it wasn't fixed when it was rejected or it was an issue with coach/agent/GM/owner at that time.

Payton has said he enjoys living in Texas and gets along with JJ, but he probably won't leave until Drew Brees retires.

Though, if someone in the League office chose to leak the story now, it appears the League has it out for the Saints organization.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 5:50pm

If the league leaked it, then shame on Payton and the Saints for allowing it to fester without getting it straightened out. Cutting that clause out of the contract would have taken minutes. So, did Payton ask for more money in lieu of the clause and the team said no? Or did he simply refuse to sign it until he'd weighed all his options?

Increasingly, I'm thinking it doesn't matter if the league has it in for the Saints because they're doing a very good job messing themselves up. I can't quite picture the scene when Loomis approached Benson with Payton's contract including a clause letting him out if Loomis left. Talk about awkward. And then to think how Benson has had Payton's back so completely since the scandal, knowing the whole time they didn't have him signed and he might have already coached his last game for them? Benson would have to absolutely adore the guy for that not to have already caused some hard feelings.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 6:39pm

But it does explain some weird things that Benson has done lately like wanting to put Loomis in charge of the Hornets while still running the Saints. Nobody sane could believe that was a good idea or that a single guy could GM two teams at once. But if your main objective is to convince Sean Payton that Loomis is integral to all your operations and isn't going anywhere, it's a different story.

Also, has Benson had health issues or there been talk of him selling the team? Because if that were the case the clause makes a lot more sense because it would protect Payton and Loomis through an ownership change when new management is typically brought in. I agree with you that the clause would normally cause some hard feelings towards both Payton and Loomis. But if Benson acknowledged he might not be in charge in the relatively near future, then it becomes his way of looking out for his guys and his franchise while he still can.

by Just Another Saints Fan (not verified) :: Fri, 11/09/2012 - 2:41pm

Should Tom Benson's health faulter, his Grand daughter, Rita Benson Leblanc has been groomed to step in and take his place. She has been involved with Benson's sports franchises for over a decade now, having run the AFL Voodoo for a time, and is the designated heir to the empire. This is a well known fact throughout both the organization and the NFL overall (She chairs the NFL employee benifits comittee).

Part of the problem with dealing with Payton's contract is that Loomis himself has been under suspension and hasn't been able to perform his regular duties with the team anyway. It's all a big mess. The general feeling is that one of two things will happen, once Loomis comes off of suspension, a new contract for Payton will be drawn up. It will be sent to the league office for review. Under the rules of the suspension, without NFL consent, Payton can have no contact with the team, so the NFL itself would have to have allowed this matter to be resolved. The contract was written up and agreed to before the suspension started. It was ruled invalid and the team informed of that decision AFTER the suspension was begun. Since both sides have been barred from direct communication, only the NFL itself can decide to pass that contract to Pyton. If the league elects not to pass it on until after his suspension is served, he will officialy be a free agent when it is presented to him. It is well known that Jerry Jones wants Payton to coach the cowboys. It is expected that he will make Payton a substantial offer to go to Dallas. So, either Payton decides to stick with the Saints and Drew Brees through Brees' declining years while his mega million dollar contract hampers the team from fixing its defensive problems, or, he'll go to Dallas as the highest ever paid coach in league history, have the ability to draft a replacement for Tony Romo and build a legacy as a coach that can get to a superbowl no matter where he goes.

We do NOT expect Sean Payton to be the Saints coach next year.