Sean Payton Says He’s Coach Of Saints, Doesn’t Envision Himself Coaching Anywhere Else
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton confirmed today he will remain head coach moving forward.
"This is where I plan on coaching," said Payton. "I don't envision myself coaching for any other club."
Speculation has run rampant over the last week about Payton's future, with multiple reports of Payton being traded to another organization for draft picks, as well as team's interest in Payton becoming their head coach.
He put an end to the speculation today.
"I plan on staying until everybody says we're burning your wagon out of town, and I'm comfortable with that," noted Payton. "I think Zach Strief said it best, 'I'll be here as long as they'll have me.'"
So what about all the rumors of a potential departure?
"I think the cart kind of gets in front of the horse when that happens," said Payton of the headlines questioning his future with the club. "I knew in my heart of hearts, that was not going to be something that came to fruition."
Did any team reach out to the Saints to discuss acquiring Payton."
"No," said Payton. "Other teams can't...not at all."
Payton currently has two years left on his contract, paying him $8 million annually, an NFL high among head coaches. Is an extension on the way?
"That will take care of itself," said Payton. "History tells us that stability at programs provides championships and success, though it doesn't guarantee it...In every phase, we have to look at how we can improve."
Payton took over as New Orleans head coach in 2006, leading the team to a division title and playoff win in his first season, the team's first year back in the dome following Hurricane Katrina.
"I think at the beginning it was a lot more than football, and maybe that's what separates it," explained Payton on what makes coaching in New Orleans special.
He led the team to their only Super Bowl Championship in the 2009 season.
Payton's record in New Orleans is 86-52 overall record (.623), a franchise best winning percentage. He also has a 6-4 postseason record (.600). Prior to his arrival, the franchise had one playoff win in team history.
He's hoping to win many more.