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#pounditTuesday, May 17, 2022

Sean Payton not committed to Saints for 2022?

Sean Payton on the sideline

The New Orleans Saints managed to finish with a winning record this season despite some ongoing uncertainty at the quarterback position. That is a testament to the job head coach Sean Payton did, but it may have taken a lot out of him.

Payton has not yet committed to coaching the Saints in 2022, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. The 58-year-old has been contemplating his future while on vacation and “gone dark” on several people close to him.

Payton is unlikely to coach a different team next season, according to Rapoport. The more likely scenario would be for him to take some time off after a season that those close to him said was “incredibly challenging and difficult.”

If Payton took a year or longer off, Rapoport says it is unlikely he would coach the Saints again upon his return. He would likely come back with a different organization.

Payton is under contract through 2024. He has been pursued by at least one TV network, so it’s possible he could explore working in media.

Drew Brees retired following the 2020 season, which has left the Saints in a transitional period. Jameis Winston then suffered a torn ACL back in November. The Saints seemed desperate for QB help down the stretch. Perhaps all of that uncertainty has taken a toll on Payton, who has coached the team since 2006.

Photo: 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

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