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Why is Sean Payton “walking away?”  Saints coach leaves New Orleans with a murky future

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Why is Sean Payton “walking away?” Saints coach leaves New Orleans with a murky future

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When the saints go out marching…

New Orleans coach Sean Payton decided to hang up lily flower equipment and leave the Saints, by several reports.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported that Payton was “walking away,” but didn’t provide many details beyond that:

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According to other reports, Payton, 58, is more looking for a break than spending the rest of his years on the golf course.

Here’s what we know about the longtime Saints manager’s departure:

Why is Sean Payton walking away?

According to Saints beat writer Nick Underhill, Payton has decided to retire, although there is some ambiguity with his departure.

While Rapoport has reported that the Saints head coach is “walking away”, it’s unclear exactly what his plans are. Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that this could be more of a “break” for Payton than a full retirement, saying he first discussed the possibility with Saints owner Gayle Benson earlier this this month.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic echoed that report, quoting a source as saying Payton “needs time to recharge” and could return to the sidelines in the future.

If Payton decided to coach again, it would cost an interested team: with Payton contracted to the Saints until 2024, any potential hire would mean a team would have to compensate New Orleans for his services in the future.

But a stay in the broadcast booth might come first. According to Front Office Sports’ Mike McCarthy, Fox has already targeted Payton to replace Troy Aikman in the broadcast booth should Aikman move to Amazon for the 2022 season.

On January 24, Gayle Benson recently said she was unsure about Payton’s future with the Saints, saying she would expect an answer from Payton sooner rather than later:

Payton is leaving the Saints on a low note: New Orleans is expected to face serious salary cap issues this offseason (the Saints are currently over the $74 million salary cap) and have no clear solution for the quarterback.

Dennis Allen is the current clubhouse leader to be the Saints’ next head coach, according to reports.

Over 15 years in New Orleans, teams led by Payton are 152-89 with a 9-8 playoff record. The Saints made the playoffs in nine seasons under Payton, winning Super Bowl 44. They also won seven NFC South titles.

Why is Sean Payton “walking away?” Saints coach leaves New Orleans with a murky future

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