It’s two days since Saints fans were hit with a ‘mini-bomb’ of sorts by finding out that their already forgettable offseason and struggling season could possibly compounded by losing the only coach to ever have long-term success here with the franchise.
Two days later, little more is known. Payton has only commented to FOX’s Jay Glazer and then only to say he “absolutely” wanted to stay with the Saints.
This much is pretty certain. Payton would be in the last year of his contract if not for the suspension due to the bounty scandal. If the league decides to “toll” or push his deal back a year, essentially not counting the suspension year, he’d be tied to the Saints for one more year. But, if the team and head coach can’t work out a deal before the year ends, well….
So the speculation continues to run rampant over what will happen, with the rabid fans of the struggling Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins all salivating over the chance to get at Payton.
So, where are we?
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal thinks Payton will remain in New Orleans.
Meanwhile Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole says the NFL Coaches Association feels there is no certainty that Payton would remain with the Saints in 2013, saying Payton’s side will argue that since he worked for part of the 2013 season before he was suspended, it should count as a year of work.
Saints players questioned about Payton feel he’ll be back.
ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio reports that the NFL has given the Saints express permission to talk to Payton about resolving the contract extension.
Former NFL player Tiki Barber says he thinks Payton will end up in Dallas in 2013.