Sean Payton Apr 28, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks at his phone on a time out during the first half of game six of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

We know that Sean Payton is assembling a coaching staff for a potential return to the NFL next season. We know that Tom Brady is in the final year of his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and hasn’t made a decision about next season yet. And we know that Payton and Brady have reportedly tried to come together in the past. So would it make sense for the two of them to try and make it happen in 2023? At least one NFL writer seems to think it’s possible.

Payton was a guest on Brady’s Let’s Go podcast in early December where he said that he would probably return to coaching “sooner than later.” A very interesting exchange between co-host Jim Gray and Payton seemed to imply that there might be smoke to the fire of the coach and quarterback uniting.

“Your hope and possibly one of your dreams as to be a teammate with Tom,” said Gray. “And Tom’s coming to Fox at some point, and you’re leaving. I guess that’s a dream not only delayed but gonna be denied.”

“Who says Tommy’s coming to Fox right away?” Payton said. “Clearly, we don’t want to get another team in trouble.”

“You never know what happens in the NFL,” Brady added. “So, who knows? I thought I was retired, I wasn’t. Who knows? You never know what the future looks like.”

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio now says that according to a source, a Brady and Payton combo next season is “currently the ‘worst-kept secret’ in league circles.”

Interestingly, the source also implies that the duo would end up going to the New Orleans Saints, which was the franchise that Payton coached for 15 seasons before retiring last year. The team does still have Payton’s rights through 2024, so it’s the easiest conclusion for them, other than the fact that they have a coach right now.

Either way, would Brady want to play in New Orleans next season? There are still a lot of variables and rumors at play and will be until a decision is made, but it’s interesting to ponder the possibilities in the meantime.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to