Sean Payton has no intentions of coaching in the NFL next season. He said as much during a press conference on Tuesday, in which he announced his resignation as head coach of the New Orleans Saints after 16 years with the organization. The end of a successful era in the Big Easy.
But Payton hasn't ruled out a return to coaching in the future. He mentioned that he doesn't like the word "retirement," and amid widespread speculation about his interest in leaving the sidelines for a broadcast booth, he admitted, "I don't know what's next." If Payton chooses to make a coaching comeback, the Saints would maintain his rights -- he still has three years left on his deal.
"He'll take a year off. He'll probably work for FOX or whatever TV outlet is going to hire him," Zach Gelb said during The Zach Gelb Show on Tuesday. "I'm sure everyone's going to be interested in adding him to a booth or a studio show. Then after the year off, he's going to get that itch. He's a coach -- he's going to want to coach. You know it and I know it. Cowboys aren't winning a Super Bowl next year. Mike McCarthy will be back.
"McCarthy will probably go one-and-done in the playoffs, or even if they win the NFC East or win a playoff game, Jerry Jones is going to look to upgrade. For years, he's coveted Payton. I'd be absolutely stunned if the next chapter for Payton -- once you get past the year hiatus -- I'd be absolutely stunned if he didn't end up becoming head coach of the Cowboys in a year from now... The question I'll throw out there: is Jones going to be willing to wait a year?"
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.
Gelb's complete thoughts on Payton's resignation can be accessed in the audio player above.