NFL Rumors: Sean Payton could replace Troy Aikman as analyst on FOX Sports

New Orleans Saints v Washington Football Team
New Orleans Saints v Washington Football Team

FOX Sports is reportedly eyeing New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton as a potential replacement for Troy Aikman, should the Hall of Fame quarterback bolt for 'Thursday Night Football' on Amazon.

According to Front Office Sports, Payton is being seriously pursued by the company after Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the Saints head coach has not committed to returning to New Orleans for the 2022 season. Meanwhile, Aikman has been heavily linked with a sensational move to join Amazon's streaming coverage of 'Thursday Night Football' next season.

Sean Payton could join FOX Sports as an analyst for 2022 season

The report by FOS further stated that the deal eventually boils down to Payton's final decision. The 58-year-old coach could decline TV to remain on the sidelines next season. With three years left on his Saints deal, Rapoport reports that the Dallas Cowboys could lure Payton to replace under-fire Mike McCarthy for the 2022 season.

Eric Weinberger, a former executive producer at NFL Network and senior producer at Fox Sports, told FOS that the network will have to 'go big' to replace Aikman. He said:

“(Fox) has to go big if they need to replace Troy,” said Eric Weinberger, the former executive producer at NFL Network and senior producer at Fox Sports. “I’m not sure Sean would be as bombastic as (former ESPN “Monday Night Football” analyst) Jon Gruden. But I think Sean would be more opinionated than Gruden.”

According to, multiple attempts were made at contacting Payton regarding his contract situation, to which they never received an answer. Fox reportedly has other options too. They could promote game analysts or hire retired quarterback Philip Rivers. With Aikman possibly leaving, Fox could afford the Payton deal without any hiccups.

If Payton does join Fox, he'll join the long list of NFL coaches who gave up coaching for TV, including Bruce Arians, Jon Gruden and the late John Madden.

The Saints finished with a 9-8 record this past season, second in the NFC South division. New Orleans dealt with a series of injuries to key players throughout the season, including quarterback Jameis Winston, who missed most of the year with a torn ACL. Taysom Hill, too, was sidelined for five games of the season, owing to a mallet finger injury.

Payton isn't expected to coach in 2022 if he were to leave the Saints, so it is unlikely that he will join another NFL team next season.

Also Checkout: Troy Aikman super bowl wins

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