Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Nov 2012

Sean Payton Contract with Saints Voided

I don't quite understand this story, but apparently the league has voided Sean Payton's contract extension with New Orleans, which he signed last September before the bounty scandal. The issue seems to be a clause which would allow Payton to leave the Saints if Mickey Loomis were to be suspended or fired. The league has a problem with this clause, yet if they void the contract, they're setting Payton free anyway. Many people feel that he'll now be heading to Dallas next year. Lord knows that Jason Garrett isn't swimming in job security these days.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 04 Nov 2012

15 comments, Last at 05 Nov 2012, 2:22pm by Jim W.


by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 12:07pm

It may be a silly question but why would Payton want to leave the Saints to move to Dallas? I mean I thought Payton was losing about $7 million from this suspension which suggests he is already wellpaid.

(There is an rather comical comment in that article about Payton working for Benson's NBA team to earn some income!)

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 1:32pm

Not a silly question at all. Maybe he'd get more money from Dallas but that's a way tougher environment to coach in than what he's seen in NO. And the Saints couldn't have had his back any more than they did. Abandoning them would make him look HORRIBLE. Hurting the team's image with the bounty scandal, then abandoning ship even after they forgave him for it?

by RichardD (not verified) :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 12:38pm

Many Saints fans have been worried for years about Payton's ties to Dallas, fearing that he might leave when the opportunity arises. However, most people seem to think that he will stick around as long as Drew Brees is playing. After all, despite this story, he did sign a long contract extension last year. Personally, I think after this season he will feel that he has some unfinished business in NO, and he will be excited to get back to work there.

by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 12:47pm

Him needing to take a pay cut to initially sign Gregg Williams is, I'll bet, representative of the cash-poor MO in NO. Dallas, for all that is wrong with the way Jerry runs the place, wouldn't quibble over 4ook, I suspect.

Further, a 52-man roster : roster comparison certainly favors Dallas, with QB being the big question mark. Does Sean Payton think he could "coach up" Romo?

by LionInAZ :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 2:21pm

Dallas? Maybe if Jerry Jones gives up being GM...

by Independent George :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 3:14pm

Dallas might want Payton, but why would Payton want to go to Dallas? He's got a pretty cushy gig in New Orleans.

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 5:17pm

He lives in Dallas. The Cowboys have something resembling a defense. I don't know if that would be enough to put up with JJ.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 1:58pm

I just saw some speculation that Gruden is destined to coach UT because he lives in Knoxville. I guess there is some logic to that stuff, but I also would imagine one of the allures of living someplace where you aren't the coach is the comparative anonymity it provides to your family.

by Joseph :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 5:30pm

As a Saints fan, my question is: WHAT ON EARTH TOOK SO LONG????? I mean, everything I've read confirms this, but why this didn't get resolved, like, on last year's bye week, is beyond me. If the NFL had/has a problem with it (and I can understand why they might), why hasn't it gotten fixed? This just proves to me that Goodell probably needs to resign for the good of the NFL.
(I've heard of deals like this getting rejected in basketball, hockey, and football because of non-kosher language, and I've never heard of it lasting for more than a couple of days. One whole year is just ridiculous.)

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:13pm

It does seem strange. But from reading the article, it didn't just happen and the holdup doesn't appear to have been with the NFL. The opening line in the article only pins it down to having happened sometime in the last year. But it also notes that back in March when Payton met with Goodell about the bounties he asked about the contract and was told then it wouldn't fly as currently worded. It sounds as if he and the Saints never reached a new agreement. (At least the NFL sources say a new contract never was submitted to them.) That's very interesting because if true it points to Payton using that as an out to either negotiate more money from the Saints or bail on them if he so chose.

by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 6:24pm

I'd be rather happy if Sean Payton took over the Panthers, but I seriously doubt he's leaving New Orleans.

by Taking A Knee w... :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 4:19am

I know Drew Brees has said he doesn't want to play for a coach beside Payton again, I assume the feeling is at least somewhat mutual. I would be absolutely shocked if he left NO.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:12pm

Everybody is talking like this frees up Payton to after a bigger contract. Excuse me, what? This is NO escaping a bad contract. Why would any team touch Sean Payton with a ten foot pole after the bounty fiasco? I mean if any GM in the league is that dumb it's Jerry Jones, but still.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:20pm

I don't share your optimism regarding the moral fiber of Benson and the Saints. If they wanted to dump Payton, they wouldn't have unconditionally backed him the way they have. I think it is far more likely that Payton used it as a negotiating tool where he can either ask for more money from the Saints (and he's looking more valuable with every loss) or if their collapse is bad enough he can walk away and coach someplace else.

by Jim W. (not verified) :: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:22pm

"Many people feel that he'll now be heading to Dallas next year. Lord knows that Jason Garrett isn't swimming in job security these days."

It's worth pointing out that none of those people appear to be reporters close to the team.