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  • Writer's pictureTravis Tyler

Sean Payton Steps Down as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints

In a bit of a shocking move on Tuesday, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced he was "stepping away" from the team. The announcement followed a couple days of speculation after rumors surfaced that Payton was mulling over his future.

Payton is one of the most celebrated head coaches in the NFL and was currently the second-longest tenured head coach behind New England's Bill Belichick.

Sean Payton is known as one of the great offensive minds in recent history and was hired by New Orleans in 2006 after serving as the passing game coordinator and assistant head coach in Dallas under Bill Parcells. The city quickly rallied around him and the team he had begun building in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the team would win its first-ever Super Bowl title just three years later.

Coach Payton led the Saints for 16 years (although he was suspended for the 2012 season because of Bounty gate), won seven NFC South titles, and accumulated a 152-89 record with just four losing seasons.

He said in his press conference that he does not know what his next move will be and he just felt in his gut that it was time to move on. Many have speculated that he could land a TV deal with one of the networks or even coach somewhere else (although a team would need to trade for him since his current contract runs through 2024).

Some have even speculated a possible return to Dallas if Jerry Jones decides to replace Mike McCarthy. It would be a very "Jerry-like" move to make a splash move like that, but one that would likely be beneficial.

It is worth noting that the word "retirement" has not been used, which leaves the door open for the 58-year-old to return to coach in some capacity. I would think some organizations would consider him for a front-office role as well.

New Orleans becomes the ninth head coach opening this offseason, and defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is considered the favorite by many.

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