Super Bowl-Champion Head Coach Reportedly Not Returning to Team in 2022

A head coach and Super Bowl winner could be on their way out of their longtime team's sidelines. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints won't return to coach for another season with the team after 16 years. He has three years remaining on his contract and has not yet informed the franchise that he will definitely return. 

Payton is currently on vacation, and people close to him aren't sure what he's going to do. It would be unlikely to coach another team next season. Payton could take a mini-retirement to recharge for a year and return in 2023. If that were to happen, Payton's time in New Orleans would come to an end and he would coach another team. 

The Saints hired Payton to be their head coach in 2006. Before joining the Saints, Payton was the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Dallas Cowboys for three seasons. Payton took over for Jim Haslett and is the most successful coach in franchise history. He led the Saints to seven division titles, three NFC Championships appearances with one win and Super Bowl title. In 2021, Payton led the Saints to a 9-8 record, and the team missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

"These things end the same way, they end in the locker room with players packing," Payton said during his end-of-season press conference earlier this month, per the Saints official website. "They end with the team meeting, they end with we're going to forward you the schedules via email, once we receive a better idea of the offseason. They end with players getting exit physicals, they end with players, having some offseason surgeries done, clean up work done or significant surgeries done. They end with evaluations by the coaching staffs on the individual players throughout the year and so that cycle begins."

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Payton also talked about the resiliency of the players despite a tough year. "I thought we lost a tough game week two, and then went on the road at New England and won one," he said. "You relocate (Ida) and you see it with players, you see with coaches. You know it's a long season, so coming back to work after a tough loss, you can't wait to play the next game and you work harder."