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?'"
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