According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the multi-year contract extension that the New Orleans Saints gave to head coach Sean Payton has been voided by the NFL, which means he’ll be able to sign with any team he likes after this season.
Schefter says that Payton is expected to be the most sought after NFL head coach and that there’s a lot of speculation that he could end up back in Dallas where he once served as their offensive coordinator under Bill Parcells.
As recently as March, when Payton was visiting NFL offices to appeal his yearlong suspension in the bounty scandal, he asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the status of his contract extension and was told it was unsatisfactory as it initially was constituted, sources said.
At issue in the contract was one specific clause that would have enabled Payton to walk away from the deal if general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended, fired or left the New Orleans organization, sources said.
The league believed that any such language in Payton’s contract would set a bad precedent for other coaching contracts and rejected the deal well before Loomis was suspended for the first eight games this season for his part in the bounty scandal.
This has to be startling for the Saints organization. It doesn’t matter if Payton was involved in a bounty scandal or not, he’s one of the best play callers and head coaches in the game today and he may never coach in New Orleans again.