The 2022 NFL season is the first one without a job for Sean Payton in 16 years. With the exception of the 2012 season, for which he was suspended in the wake of the BountyGate scandal, he was the New Orleans Saints' head coach from 2006 to last year.
Even though he retired after last season, Payton is not ruling himself out from being a head coach for good. He said on the NewOrleans.Football podcast that he would return for the right job. A good roster won't be enough to sway him, though. He explained (at the 9:10 mark) that will only return to the NFL sidelines for a team with strong management.
“The most important element is functional ownership, front office…because there's a handful of teams that aren't, and those teams, regardless of what takes place, they can win on Sunday but they have trouble winning long term,” Sean Payton said. “The opportunity to win consistently and the willingness to build the correct culture and all those things.”
Payton's stance makes total sense. At age 58, he isn't willing to waste any more time on a bad team with no direction. He was linked to the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers this past offseason. In his time with the Saints, Payton won 63.1 percent of his regular-season games, nine playoff games and a Super Bowl. Many good teams will likely be interested in bringing him in.