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#pounditThursday, May 19, 2022

Reporter reveals when Sean Payton may return to coaching

Sean Payton on the sideline

Aug 23, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks on during the second half against Jacksonville Jaguars at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton didn’t close the door on coaching again following his retirement from the New Orleans Saints, and it turns out that door may become wide open again sooner rather than later.

NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport joined “The Pat McAfee Show” on Friday. He was asked about the validity to reports that another NFC South team has interest in hiring the former head coach.

Rapoport shared that he believes Payton will return to coaching in 2023.

“When [Payton] coaches next, and I think he will coach next year, someone’s going to have to give up a draft pick or more to the Saints,” Rapoport said.

Payton has hinted that he wants to coach again, but hasn’t put a timetable on a return.

The 58-year-old is reportedly set to join FOX this season in a limited role as a studio analyst. By taking on a low-commitment role rather than a color commentator role, Payton could be setting up an easier exit from the network after one year.

Payton will have plenty of suitors if he opts to return to coaching next year.

The Carolina Panthers have reported interest in going after Payton if he becomes available, although the team denied such interest on Friday.

The Dallas Cowboys also make sense as a possible destination for Payton, given his ties to the team and the fact that Mike McCarthy appears to be on the hot seat after a disappointing playoff exit last season.

In 15 seasons with the Saints, Payton had a 152-89 record with nine playoff victories and one Super Bowl title.

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