New Orleans Saints Coach, Sean Payton, Steps Down
New Orleans Saint coach Sean Payton is stepping down from his role after an illustrious 16 years with the franchise.
After close to two decades on the baseline, the 58-year-old takes a one-year break from the sport to reflect.
Payton cannot work for another club unless a trade compensation is agreed upon, as his current deal runs until 2025.
He has already set his eyes on his next move outside the field amid talks of a TV punditry job.
“I don’t know what’s next — and it kind of feels good,”
Payton said during an emotional 90-minute news conference at the team’s practice facility.
“But, man, I felt like it was time.” …
Payton has said he considered leaving the Black and Gold during their training camp months ago before announcing his decision to finally part ways.
He revealed top officials, including owner Gayle Benson, General manager Mickey Loomis, and president Dennis Lauscha attempted to talk him out of quitting the job before arriving at the final decision.
“It really is a bittersweet day. I feel like he deserves this,” said Benson, who said the team would conduct a thorough search for Payton’s replacement both inside and outside the ranks. “I think we’re gonna have to do a great job in choosing another person that’s going to be able to lead us the way that Sean did.”
Under Payton, the Saints became a perennial contender as they beat Peyton Manning and Indianapolis on the road to winning their only Super Bowl in 2009.
Payton was a member of the league’s powerful competition committee from 2017 until leaving that position last November.
He leaves as the only NFL head coach with a 152-89 regular-season record and an outstanding nine playoffs appearances – in 15 smashing years.
Payton was first hired as the first-team coach in 2006 when he oversaw a stunning turnaround in the franchise’s first season back in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
The club had been displaced from the city during the entire 2005 season, going 3-13.
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