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Sean Payton's future remains unclear as NFL teams seem reluctant to pay Saints' steep asking price

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons
Sean Payton may not be NFL team's first choice for head coach as many assumed would happen.

Sean Payton announced after the 2021 NFL season that he would be stepping away as head coach of the New Orleans Saints. He didn't use the word retirement and left the door open for a return to coaching at some point down the road.

He spent the 2022 NFL season working for FOX as part of their NFL Sunday kickoff shows. As head coaches were dismissed this season, his name became a possible replacement for all of them.

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Within the last few weeks, he has interviewed with several teams, but as the second interview process begins with the candidates, it doesn't appear he will be moving on to the next round with any NFL team.

NFL insider Ian Rapoport said on Wednesday afternoon on NFL Network that it no longer appears that any NFL team is interested in him. This is shocking, considering that he was regarded as a firm favorite for several jobs.

“As of right now, it doesn’t seem like there’s a place for Sean Payton.” - Ian Rapoport
No NFL team has scheduled a second interview with #Saints coach Sean Payton. “As of right now, it doesn’t seem like there’s a place for Sean Payton.” - @RapSheethttps://t.co/3vOpdeDE7g

The Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, said to be at the top of the list of teams to hire him, are now moving on to the next round and haven't included him.

Could it be that hiring Sean Payton as the head coach would involve a trade with the New Orleans Saints? That may be the longstanding issue when it comes to hiring him. The Saints would likely want at least one first-round draft pick; a team like the Denver Broncos doesn't have the draft capital or salary cap space to afford Payton.

When would Sean Payton's contract expire with the Saints?

With interest in hiring Sean Payton dwindling by the day, could NFL teams decide to wait out his contract to avoid a trade with the New Orleans Saints? They could do that, but they will have to wait a little while.

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The former New Orleans Saints head coach is under contract with the organization through the 2024 NFL season. This means that it will be 2025 before his contract expires, and he will be able to be hired by an NFL team of his choosing.

There are many things Sean Payton could do this year; coaching an NFL team is unlikely to be one. He remains under contract to New Orleans for three more seasons. He wants some time to decompress, and the Saints would want compensation if they ever were to relinquish his rights.

That would keep the Super Bowl-winning head coach out of the NFL for three seasons. This doesn't seem likely, as he already seems ready to get back into the trenches of head coaching after just one calendar year.

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Edited by Piyush Bisht
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