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"Thanks coach" - Fans react to stunning news of Saints HC Sean Payton retiring

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton
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Adam Hulse

Sean Payton has announced he is stepping away from the New Orleans Saints amid the shocking news in the NFL world. It's a move that many didn't see coming.

The 2021 NFL season is the first for the Saints since Drew Brees retired from the NFL. The Saints missed out on the playoffs by just one game, so they were competitive in Sean Payton's new system in the first year of the post-Brees era.

We lost Drew Brees and Sean Payton in back-to-back offseasons. Crazy.
lose Drew Brees and Sean Payton in back to back years boy I don’t deserve dis I’m a nice, decent guy God why me

Sean Payton helped the Saints this season to start the year with a solid 5-2 record, including an upset victory over defending Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They beat the Buccaneers again later in the season.

Their opening 5-2 record was the only seven games started by new quarterback Jameis Winston. The Saints never fully recovered from Winston's season-ending injury suffered earlier in the year.

Sean Payton leaves the Saints with some amazing numbers 👏 https://t.co/ZG8wBpk42Z

These were all signs that the new-look Saints were heading in the right direction under the guidance of Payton. They enter the 2021 offseason with the worst salary cap situation in the NFL, so maybe Payton just doesn't want to be a part of a potential full rebuild.

Regardless of his reasonings, the news left the NFL world stunned.

Sean Payton saw they casted Kevin James as him in the movie and said “yeah I’m done”
congrats on an outstanding career sean payton! https://t.co/cSttNgheqd

NFL fans react on Twitter to the shocking news of Sean Payton's retirement

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton
Congratulations coach @SeanPayton on a dope ass career! one of the best to ever do it!

The Saints are scheduled to be more than 70 million dollars over the salary cap in the 2021 NFL offseason. Some fans believe that's why Payton is leaving.

They are likely going to need to overhaul the roster to get back under the salary cap.

Sean Payton leaving the Saints as they're about to stare down the consequences from years of YOLO spending and draft-pick trades is like bailing after you and your buddies burned down an Air BnB following a week-long rager. Gotta respect it.
When Sean Payton seen the saints 70 mil over the cap https://t.co/Ias7iCchrE
Sean Payton saw the salary cap and injury reports and said yall be easy.
Saints Ownership: “What are we going to do about Taysom Hill’s contract? It’s a disaster.”Sean Payton: https://t.co/tJpxcHUEpg

Payton's departure leaves the Saints in a difficult spot. With all of the uncertainty with their roster and no money currently available, it's not exactly an attractive job opening for potential candidates.

Sean Payton stepping away is a huge loss for the #Saints. This team is not in search of a HC. With no QB and $70M over the cap, gonna be a tough sell for candidates
#Saints fans right now after seeing Sean Payton has stepped away from being the head coach. Me I'm Saints fans https://t.co/86TEQ0qUSc

Some around the NFL are pointing out that Payton is not necessarily retiring, but rather stepping away from coaching. This leaves the door open for a potential return at some point.

His future plans are currently unknown.

Sean Payton is stepping aside from the Saints according to a source with knowledge of the situation. He is not retiring per se but is taking a break from coaching. As previously reported several networks are pursuing him. A return to coaching at some point is possible

There have been many reactions around the NFL about the surprising news. Saints fans are frustrated, and rightfully so.

Payton is leaving the franchise in a difficult spot. Rather than help them through it, he is choosing to step away.

What he does next, whether it be coaching or something else, is still unknown.


Edited by LeRon Haire
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