- Much like a young Drew Brees in 2006, the Chargers have a young franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert. Sure, he has much to learn, but finding a quarterback would not be a problem for Payton.
- Aside from Herbert, the Chargers have talented playmakers on both sides of the ball. From Austin Eckler and Keenan Allen on offense to Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack on defense, Payton has playmakers in Los Angeles.
- The Chargers have already proved to be a very capable team. They currently have seven wins with what many would consider questionable coaching. Putting Payton in charge could really turn this franchise into a consistent Super Bowl contender.
- The Chargers may choose to stick with current head coach Brandon Staley. He’s 16-14 over almost two seasons with the Chargers and they may not be ready to pull the trigger to hire Payton.
- The Charger defense needs some work. They have currently allowed 326 points this season, ranking no. 28 in the league. Payton would need to be paired with a talented defensive coordinator to quickly turn around the defense.
- Payton is very familiar with the city of Dallas. He moved there in 2011 and supposedly lived there until last year.
- Even though they currently boast an impressive 10-3 record, another quick exit from the playoffs might be the last straw Cowboy fans have for Mike McCarthy. Payton could turn an already-winning team into a playoff-winning team.
- There’s some serious talent in Dallas on both sides of the ball. Who wouldn’t want to work with young talents like Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and Micah Parsons? This goes without even mentioning their stacked running back room.
- Like the Chargers, Dallas may not be ready to move on from their current head coach. Though it seemed like the stars would align for Payton in Dallas after his departure from the Saints, the Cowboys might still be comfortable with McCarthy.
- At certain times, Dallas has been a revolving door of coaches who work underneath a very complex figure named Jerry Jones. It would not be surprising at all to hear that Payton simply does not want to work with Jones.
So Sean Payton was a former Cardinals ball boy? Well well… pic.twitter.com/Sc1nX4NJBb— Cameron Cox (@CamCox12) November 28, 2022
- Unlike the Chargers and the Cowboys, it’s pretty clear that an overwhelming majority of the fanbase would prefer Payton over its current head coach, Kliff Kingsbury. He’s led the Cardinals to a 4-9 season this year (we feel your pain, Arizona).
- There are definitely plenty of reasonable doubts regarding Kyler Murray, but nonetheless, he’s shown signs of greatness and he signed a five-year contract before this season. So, for now, Payton would have a great quarterback with some stud receivers in Arizona.
- One of the most important elements of team culture is veteran leadership, and Arizona has that with JJ Watt on defense and DeAndre Hopkins on offense. There’s certainly an incentive for Payton to work with players that know the game and have the locker room on their backs.
- Unlike some of his other options, it seems that the Cardinals have plenty of holes to fill up before being Super Bowl contenders. The Cardinals have some glaring issues on defense and the offensive line.
- Arizona currently finds itself in a very difficult division featuring San Francisco and Seattle. Even the last-place Rams won the Super Bowl less than a year ago. This would be a stark contrast to the often-lackluster NFC South.
- Kyler Murray will go as both a pro and a con. If he continues to develop and flourishes, then that’s great - you have him for four more seasons at least. If he fails, then you are kind of stuck with him. It is definitely a gamble for Payton to put that trust in Murray.
People close to Sean Payton think he's going to coach in 2023. I asked one of them to rank where he'd most likely coach. He listed the Saints No. 1.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) December 11, 2022
Jeff Duncan: If Sean Payton is going to coach somewhere in 2023, it needs to be the Saints https://t.co/1yCvbLZYbu via @nolanews
- Obviously, Payton is no stranger to this franchise. Pretty much everyone in the front office is still in place and would be ecstatic to have Payton back. That mutual familiarity and trust would be a big pro for any coach and franchise.
- Similar to the first point, Payton has already coached most of the players on the team and appears to still have a relationship with many of them. After an abysmal season, team morale would likely rebound tremendously and would hold weight for more wins in 2023.
- As many Saints fans would tell you, this team still has a ton of talent, both on the veteran and younger ends of the roster. Aside from the quarterback issue, this team is still in contention to win the division next season based on their raw talent alone.
- This team is quarterback-less and without a first-round pick. Sure, that could change with a trade into the first round or a free agency pick-up, but as of now, Payton would have to return to a team without a quarterback, which is a massive risk.
- Payton would probably have to replace Dennis Allen with a different coordinator, as most coaches are not too keen with demotions. The Payton-Allen connection was special and will be tough to replace.
- Some of the Saints’ best talent that brought Payton success have unknown futures with the team. Michael Thomas has constant injury concerns, Alvin Kamara has a looming hefty suspension, and Cam Jordan is 33 years old. Though there is hope for the younger talents on the team, it will probably be a very different-looking team in two to three years.