New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton stepping away after 16 years with franchise (1 Viewer)

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New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

METAIRIE, La. -- Sean Payton announced his decision to step away Tuesday, 16 years after he was hired as the New Orleans Saints' coach, though he stressed multiple times that "retirement is not the right word."

Payton, 58, said he doesn't plan to coach another team in 2022, adding, "That's not where my heart is right now." And since he has three years remaining on his contract, the Saints would have to agree to trade compensation if he wanted to coach another team.

However, Payton didn't rule out a return to coaching in the future. And he said he is interested in pursuing a TV analyst job, though he insisted that neither he nor his agent Don Yee have talked with any media outlets yet.

"I don't know what's next -- and it kind of feels good," Payton said during an emotional 90-minute news conference at the team's practice facility. "But, man, I felt like it was time. ... But not with any regret. There's some excitement, like, 'All right, what's next?'"

Full Story - ESPN
 
Andrus Whitewing

Andrus Whitewing

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As a Saints fan up here in Quebec since the days of the ''aints'' and the fans with paper bags on their heads, I am sad tonight. We just lost
a HOF quarterback and now we've lost a HOF coach. I'm still hoping that Coach Payton comes back to the organization in some capacity -
he has reached the ranks of the very best to have coached in the NFL.
Thank you for everything, Coach. We were all touched by the generosity of spirit you displayed at your news conference. We wish you and
your family the very best and we'll continue to hope we'll see you back with the Saints one day.
 

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