Chargers may not want Sean Payton for 1 reason?
Sean Payton is viewed as the most logical replacement for Brandon Staley should the Los Angeles Chargers decide to move on from their head coach, but there is one aspect of the situation that some feel has been overlooked — money.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos does not exactly have a reputation for aggressively spending money, especially on head coaches. The team’s last three coaches — Staley, Anthony Lynn and Mike McCoy — all had no prior head coaching experience in the NFL. That made them inexpensive options. Staley reportedly makes around $4 million per year, which easily ranks in the bottom half of the league. He is in the second season of a four-year contract.
On the latest episode of his podcast, Bill Simmons of The Ringer said people in the know believe the Chargers are “way too cheap” to hire Payton.
“The good news if you’re a Chargers fan is (Saturday’s meltdown) opens the door for Sean Payton, which is all that shoulder matter,” Simmons said. “Now, I’ve asked some people who know stuff. Everyone who knows things seems to think the Chargers are way too cheap to fire Staley and then pay Sean Payton. This is a team that’s like a tenant in somebody else’s football stadium, so who knows?”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday said essentially the same thing when discussing Staley’s future. He said it is “hard to see this franchise with its history being as aggressive as it would need to be to go get Sean Payton.”
Adam Schefter from this morning kinds confirms what we thought yesterday. Chargers went out of their way (via Ian) to let everyone know they weren't making any changes at head coach
And then they lost like they did… pic.twitter.com/RhyEpGW1bS
— Tyler Schoon (@tylerjschoon) January 15, 2023
While coaches’ salaries are not public information, Bill Belichick is believed to be the highest-paid coach in the NFL. If figures Sportico shared last month are accurate, Belichick is an outlier with his $20 million salary. Pete Carroll has the second-highest salary in the league at $15 million, and Sean McVay makes around $14 million.
Payton will undoubtedly be seeking a deal in the neighborhood of $15 million per year. That means the Chargers would have to pay around $20 million for head coaches over the next two seasons when you factor in Staley’s salary. The two sides could negotiate a buyout, but Staley has no real incentive to do that.
We have already explained why we think the Chargers should fire Staley and hire Payton. History tells us Spanos may not be willing to pay up.