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#pounditWednesday, December 7, 2022

Report: Sean Payton eyeing 2 potential NFL head coach jobs

Sean Payton looks ahead

Aug 9, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton has said that he would be open to an NFL return if the right opportunity presented itself, and the former New Orleans Saints may be monitoring the situations with at least two teams.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler reported in their latest insider column that Payton would potentially have interest in the Los Angeles Chargers or Arizona Cardinals if either job opened up. The 58-year-old wants to join a team that already has an established quarterback in place.

Los Angeles seems like Payton’s preferred destination. Fowler said there are some around the NFL who believe Payton is willing to “wait that one out.”

This is not the first time Payton has been linked to the Chargers. Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post wrote last month that Payton “really wants” the Chargers job because he thinks highly of Justin Herbert.

The Chargers are 5-5 and still very much in the playoff hunt. Brandon Staley is in just his second season as head coach of the team and has a 14-13 overall record. Herbert threw for 5,014 yards, 38 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season in his first year under Staley. The former Oregon star hasn’t been quite as good this year, but top wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have missed significant time with injuries.

Barring a collapse down the stretch, it seems unlikely that the Chargers will fire Staley. The 4-7 Cardinals could make a coaching change, however. They signed Kyler Murray to a massive contract extension during the offseason, and there have been indications that he and head coach Kliff Kingsbury are not getting along.

The Saints still hold Payton’s rights, so they would be entitled to compensation if another team wanted to hire him. One report over the summer outlined what Payton will be seeking with his next NFL coaching job.

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