Report: Sean Payton in discussions with FOX to be in commentary booth for 2022 

Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton
Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton

Sean Payton may be finding work coming out of retirement sooner than he could've predicted. The 58-year-old has a personality and football mindset that is a good combination for the broadcasting business.

Payton publicly admitted that he was interested in being a commentator during his retirement press conference. Michael McCarthy of Front Sports Office reported Friday that Payton is in negotiations with Fox Sports to work as a commentator.

The most surprising part of McCarthy's report wasn't necessarily that Payton was in negotiations for a job. The biggest surprise was McCarthy reporting that Sean Payton is in talks to replace Troy Aikman as Fox's No. 1 announcer. Aikman left FOX on Wednesday for a five-year deal with ESPN.

Front Office Sports also reported that Payton's salary could be worth $10 million annually. That's a slight increase from the $9.8 million salary he would've received as the New Orleans Saints head coach in 2022.

The NFL's announcing teams are getting major shake-ups this offseason. Between Aikman leaving Fox for ESPN, Al Michaels' contract status with NBC, and now Payton, this offseason is as significant for announcers as the much-heralded quarterback carousel.

Sean Payton joins a rotating cast of NFL commentators ahead of 2022 season

Drew Brees and Sean Payton with the New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees and Sean Payton with the New Orleans Saints

Sean Payton's play-by-play partner with Fox is yet to be determined. One possibility is that Payton is paired with play-by-play veteran Joe Buck, who's been with Fox for 20 years. The pairing will only happen if Buck doesn't leave Fox for ESPN.

ESPN isn't afraid to pay to get their targets, as evident by them giving Aikman a whopping $90 million. Given Buck and Aikman's 17-year history, a jump to ESPN is on the cards.

The lead announcer for Fox's number two team of announcers, Kevin Burkhardt, is a candidate to join Payton on Fox's number one team. However, his chemistry with Greg Olsen was remarkable, and one that fans adored watching during the season.

McCarthy also reported that Olsen is expected to get a fair shot at Fox's number one announcer gig. So nothing is set in stone whatsoever yet.

Other notable commentary changes could include Al Michaels retiring or joining Aikman on ESPN for Monday Night Football. Drew Brees, who has worked for NBC the past two seasons since retiring, is also a candidate to receive a bigger payday somewhere else.

Whether Payton commits to this gig long-term will be interesting to see. Should the Dallas Cowboys fire Mike McCarthy, Payton could get the itch to return to coaching and jump at the opportunity.

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Edited by Piyush Bisht
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