Former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton surprisingly retired this offseason to take a year off from coaching and pursue a TV deal. Coach Payton will be the studio analyst with Fox for the 2022 NFL season. It is rumored to be a one-year deal, which opens the door for him to return to coaching in 2023. There is a lot of interest to return to the sideline by the 2023 season, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, a return to coaching always seemed like an obvious move. The Saints own Coach Payton's rights through the 2024 season.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald cited an unnamed source that said the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Los Angeles Chargers are three teams that could interest Payton in 2023. The source also added “among other teams” to that list. The main factors for Payton are “warm weather, a roster that can contend, and control over personnel decisions” per Barry Jackson. The Carolina Panthers have also been linked to Payton, but it is doubtful the Saints would trade him to a division opponent.
This offseason the Dolphins made an aggressive push to land Payton and offered him a five-year $100 million dollar idea, according to Barry Jackson. Obviously, the Dolphins would've had to trade for Payton, but he was adamant about taking a year off to pursue a TV deal but was flattered by Miami's interest in him. There were also rumors about the Dolphins adding Tom Brady in some capacity as well. There is no evidence of any of this being true because there was no official word that any team granted permission, the bottom line is the interest was there. The Dolphins later hired Mike McDaniel to be their head coach. If year one for McDaniel does not go as planned, the Dolphins could revisit trying to trade for Sean Payton.
The bottom line, Payton's next team will be determined by three things... do they have an opening for a head coach, do they meet his interests, and do they meet the Saints asking price for a trade? The Saints will work with Payton to get him where he wants to go but the Saints will obviously want the highest in return as well.
The asking price for him is tricky. The most recent big-time head coach trade was John Gruden being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two first-round picks and two second-round picks, after only having a 40-28 win/loss record with the Raiders. The more interest in Payton the better, because it will raise the price of return for the Saints.
The next offseason will be a very interesting one, as the Saints will most likely need to find a trade partner to ship off one of the best coaches of this decade and the return will be large.