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#pounditSunday, December 4, 2022

Report: 1 NFC team already eyeing Sean Payton for 2023

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 will be linked to head coaching jobs as long as he does not currently have one. That process has already begun for the 2023 season.

The Carolina Panthers are reportedly interested in Payton and might even be interested in waiting a year to hire him, according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports. The Panthers would be required to give up compensation to the New Orleans Saints if they did hire Payton, as the former coach is still officially under contract with them.

The Panthers are certainly likely to have a job opening unless they stage a surprisingly strong 2022 campaign. Carolina owner David Tepper seems to regret hiring Matt Rhule, and there is apparently a strong belief around the NFL that Rhule is a lame duck coach in 2022. There is nothing to really indicate that the Panthers are poised to surprise in 2022, which seems like the only way Rhule could save his job at this point.

Payton is set to take the 2022 season off from coaching and do TV work instead. Few think his departure from the sidelines is permanent, though. The big question would be whether Payton would want to wait for a better opportunity, especially since the Panthers share a division with his former team in New Orleans.

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