Sean Payton stepping away from New Orleans Saints, per reports
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is stepping away from his position, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Nick Underhill from New Orleans Football reports that Payton is retiring.
Payton had entered the offseason unsure if he was going to return for the 2022 season, according to Rapoport. The 58-year-old was under contract for three more seasons but has been shown interest from multiple television networks to become an analyst, per ESPN.
The end of the 2021 season would mark a 15-year run for Payton as the head coach of the Saints. He was the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL.
Payton led the Saints to winning records in 10 of those 15 seasons, including a 13-3 regular season run in 2009 before winning a Super Bowl. He had future Hall of Famer Drew Brees as his quarterback for every season except this past year, the season after Brees retired.
The head coach’s all-time record is 152-89 and Payton’s .631 winning percentage is tied for the 22nd best in NFL history, according to Pro Football Reference.
Payton’s farewell makes the Saints the ninth head coach opening in the NFL. They join the Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Houston Texans and Las Vegas Raiders.