He was under contract for three more seasons but decided he is ready for a new venture after coaching the team since 2006.
Rumors are already flying over social media about what Payton could do next.
Television is one option, as is coaching another team.
The tricky thing here is that Payton has an obstacle to overcome to coach elsewhere.
That is the simple fact he is under contract in New Orleans.
Retiring does not change that fact.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport detailed what would have to happen if Payton does want to coach elsewhere before the end of the 2024 season.
Sean Payton is under contract through 2024 with the #Saints. If another team wanted to swoop it, they would need to compensate New Orleans. But that’s a conversation for next offseason. https://t.co/7v8gr8GW0c
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 25, 2022
The head coach would need to be traded if he wants to lead a new franchise in the next three years.
Figuring Out His Next Step
Rapoport notes how this is a discussion for next offseason at the earliest.
That means fans of other teams, such as the Dallas Cowboys, can stop wondering if Payton will get the job in a matter of days.
But that team in particular is interesting because Mike McCarthy is already on the hot seat.
Perhaps he gets fired next season if the team fails to win a Super Bowl and Payton makes it clear he is ready to return.
First, the coach himself needs to figure out what he wants to do.
Sean Payton met this afternoon for 35 minutes with the Saints’ football staff to let it know he was moving on. They told stories about the past, and reflected on what they accomplished. Payton told staff he has no current plans for the upcoming season. He has time to figure out.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 25, 2022
It is easy for fans and media members to assume he will take a job in television or want to coach again.
He may just want to spend time with family and call it a career.
Yet if he does want to come back the Saints would surely work with him on a trade after all he has done for the franchise.