Sean Payton has found a new gig after stepping down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints in January.
According to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, Payton has taken a job with Fox for the 2022 season. He’ll reportedly work in-studio, and could serve as a fill-in for Jimmy Johnson during his off weeks with the Fox NFL Sunday crew. Florio reported that Payton was also in the running for a job at Amazon, which has the exclusive broadcast rights for “Thursday Night Football” starting in 2022.
Broadcasting was the logical landing spot for Payton after 16 years with the Saints, but his gig at Fox is probably not a permanent thing. At 58 he’s got plenty of time to return to the NFL as a head coach, so 2022 could end up being just a gap year as he considers his next move. Payton said he wasn’t done with coaching after he stepped down as head coach of the Saints, a comment teams heard loud and clear. He’s been connected to several teams since then, including the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys.
Payton’s preference for a future HC job isn’t known, probably because it’ll be eight months before teams start the hiring process for that particular job. There is one notable connection, though. Before being named head coach of the Saints in 2006, Payton spent three years as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach under Bill Parcells, who was the head coach of the Cowboys at that time.
It’s certainly possible Payton could end up there. Under Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys have underperformed, and his status with owner Jerry Jones was a constant topic of discussion. Unless McCarthy can lead Dallas to a deep playoff run in 2022, that job just might be open.