Maggie and Perloff: Sean Payton resigns as Saints head coach

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Sean Payton's tenure as head coach of the New Orleans Saints has officially reached its end. During a press conference on Tuesday, the 58-year-old told reporters that he's stepping away from the team after 15 seasons in the role, and his personal plans for 2022 don't include coaching.

Of course, a return to the NFL remains possible. Payton said he doesn't like the word "retirement," and amid widespread speculation about his interest in broadcasting, he admitted, "I don't know what's next." If Payton does make a coaching comeback, New Orleans would maintain his rights. He still has three years remaining on a $45 million contract, and the franchise would most likely require compensation if he wants to coach elsewhere.

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The Maggie and Perloff Show
Maggie and Perloff 01-25-22 Hour 1
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"It's January 25. I think he's burned out. I think he'll be un-burned out by the spring," Andrew Perloff said during the Maggie and Perloff show on Tuesday. "That's why half of my Twitter feed is, 'Is Sean Payton going to the Cowboys, or the Jaguars, what's going on here?'... The timeframe of Sean Payton being burned out, I don't think he'd be available to the Cowboys in time to make a move... I think he stays away. But I don't think he's done, by any means."

"You have some major questions, most notably at quarterback, but I think this is a really appealing job for one of the quarterbacks that could be looking for a change of scenery," Maggie Gray said. "Got to be honest, though. A little less appealing without Payton. But you do have weapons. Unfortunately, you're in a bad salary cap situation that nobody likes to talk about... I think this is still a good job. Live in New Orleans and play in a dome? Sign me up."

Payton will take the year to recharge, both mentally and physically, and there's no disputing how stressful his 2021 campaign was. In August, the Saints were displaced by Hurricane Ida for a month, and forced to play a home game on a neutral field. In Week 8, their starting quarterback, Jameis Winston, suffered a season-ending knee injury, and due to a myriad of ailments and COVID issues, four different quarterbacks saw action. Somehow, New Orleans nearly earned a playoff spot with a 9-8 record.

In 15 seasons as an NFL head coach, Payton has amassed a record of 152-89. He led the Saints to nine playoff appearances, three NFC title games, and one Super Bowl title (2009). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Payton and the team rank first in NFL history in both points scored (27.6 per game) and yards gained (391.2 per game) among all coach-team combinations with a minimum of five years together.

Maggie and Perloff's complete thoughts on Payton and the Saints' future can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow the Maggie and Perloff Show on Twitter @MaggieandPerl and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.