All signs seem to point to former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton returning to the NFL sidelines very soon. The latest report confirms that not only is he planning a return, but he’s also already putting a coaching staff together.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that Peyton is trying to assemble a coaching staff to bring with him to his next team and that he has been in touch with former Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio about being his defensive coordinator.
While Payton currently works as an analyst for Fox, he has been telling anyone and everyone for months that his return to the NFL is less a question of “if” and more a question of “when.” And the more times he’s alluded to a fast return, the more likely it’s become that he’ll be back on the sidelines in 2023.
There are currently two teams looking for a new head coach next season, the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers. And it’s expected that there will be around three-to-five more openings once the dust settles and the season ends. It’s worth noting that the Saints have Payton’s rights through 2024, so whoever hires him will also have to compensate them.
The Super Bowl-winning head coach was already going to command a high price tag. But the knowledge that one of the top defensive minds in the game could be packaged with him might be driving that price up even further.
While we wait to see if and when Payton returns to the sidelines, the NFL world had some thoughts on the Fangio news.
“Would love to see this staff get a shot with the [Chargers’] loaded roster,” said Establish the Run’s Adam Levitan.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) December 24, 2022
“Sean Payton + Vic Fangio is the absolute ideal available coaching staff,” said Zone Coverage’s Wendell Ferreira.
Sean Payton + Vic Fangio is the absolute ideal available coaching staff. https://t.co/domNzTK2ZO
— Wendell Ferreira (@wendellfp) December 24, 2022
“Sean Payton wants you to know he’s going have his pick of the litter on the coaching carousel,” said Carolina Observer beat reporter Mike Kaye.