Payton’s place: NFL ‘insiders’ speculate on whether Saints’ coach is returning

Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 9:51 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Here we go again.

After an exhausting slog through a 9-8 season in which four different starting quarterbacks saw action, Saints coach Sean Payton set social media ablaze with speculation that he might be finished in New Orleans, apparently because he wasn’t returning messages last week while vacationing in Mexico.

The horror!

According to Fox 8 analyst Jeff Duncan, Payton is back from vacation and is expected back in the Saints’ Metairie offices on Monday. Duncan said he has seen no indication that Payton isn’t planning to resume work for the Saints, whom he has coached for 16 years and with whom he has three years remaining on his latest five-year contract.

But with potential suitors in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, New York and network television booths hanging in the ether, speculation isn’t going away until Payton publicly declares his continued allegiance to the Black & Gold.

The latest “NFL insiders” to wonder aloud when or if that will happen were NFL Network reporters Ian Rapoport and Mike Garofolo, who published their takes Sunday (Jan. 23):

And others also are weighing in:

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