Sean Payton is still the head coach in New Orleans.
According to sources around the NFL, that doesn’t matter to other teams in the league who could be looking to replace their current head coach after the season.
A story by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com claims there will be several teams, including Miami and Indianapolis, which will inquire about the Saints’ most successful coach in team history.
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Payton has not had the best of times the past two seasons down in the Big Easy, which makes speculation about his job security a topic of conversation.
New Orleans has been anything but a powerhouse in the NFC South, where Atlanta and Carolina are leading the way toward the playoffs this season.
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Just the mere suggestion that Payton may be on the way out after helping to stabilize a once fractured franchise is some of the worst news I could hear being a fan of the black and gold.
“Payton has two years remaining on his contract after this season, but it will not deter teams from approaching the Saints about a potential deal,” Schefter said.
Right now Miami is a team in disarray, having dismissed head coach Joe Philbin the Monday after the team returned from a loss in London to the New York Jets, and then fired Kevin Coyle, the team’s defensive coordinator, after players expressed they did not want to play for him.
Miami is 1-3 on the season and in last place in the AFC East.
Dan Campbell is the interim head coach and has 12 games to put apply for the position. Players appear to be receptive to Campbell and his ability to connect with the team, and he could be a dark horse to be retained once the season ends, regardless of how the team’s record shakes out.
"He just understands the game," said Jake Stoneburner, who has two touchdown catches this year.
"He played for 11 years. He gets what it takes to win. He likes the competitiveness and the toughness of the game and he takes it to the coaching side of it. But he also gets you as a player. He gets what we go through each day. Whether it’s mentally or physically, he understands it, so it’s also a good thing to have."
"He looks like he could still suit up. I don’t know if it adds to how well he can coach but maybe he can get big and intimidate some other coaches."
The Colts have reeled off two wins in a row, but are still dealing with internal issues between head coach Chuck Pagano and management, most notably general manager Ryan Grigson.
Schefter’s story points out Payton has ties to current Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell, who was promoted Monday when Miami fired Joe Philbin.
Campbell played at tight end for the Cowboys when Payton was Dallas' offensive coordinator and ended his playing career under Payton in New Orleans.