"Just by the nature of his personal situation, that's added to speculation," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
Payton — with a Super Bowl win on his resume — might be the first coach in history to see his value skyrocket while banned for an NFL crime, the Saints bounty scandal.
Seven million-a-year, going once. Eight million, going twice. Do I hear…
After prolonged contract talks with quarterback Drew Brees, Saints owner Tom Benson is pressed to pay top dollar to keep the most successful coach in franchise history. There's nothing preventing the sides from striking a deal before Payton is reinstated, provided the contract language gets league approval — which is why the threat of losing Payton looms, despite the contention of the Saints front office that it will ultimately get done.
Jones, meanwhile, doesn't sound like a man who wants to bid.
"I don't have any knowledge of the details about the Saints stuff," he said. "Only what I've heard on SportsCenter."