New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton steps down.

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New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton steps down

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints head coach has just stepped down after failing to make the playoffs this year. After being with the Saints for 16 years, Sean Payton said that he will step down. “I don’t like the word retirement,” Payton said in an interview, “I still have a vision for doing things in football. And I’ll be honest with you, that might be coaching again at some point. I don’t think it’s this year, I think maybe in the future. That’s not where my heart is right now.”

Payton’s contract says that he still has three more seasons with the Saints, and another NFL team has hired him as well, that team will have to compensate New Orleans due to Payton stepping down.

Although Payton’s coaching over the past 17 years was successful, the Saints took a risk hiring him back in 2005. Jim Haslett, the previous coach of the Saints, went 3-13 on the 2004 season, yet the Saints felt hesitant to hire Payton. However, the Saints saw an immediate turnaround with Payton on the coaching staff. Payton created a playoff and potentially a Super Bowl contending team once he joined the team. While Payton has been coaching he has sent the Saints to the playoffs eight times for the 16 years he was coaching.

Payton said he does not feel as if he is done with coaching, in fact he enjoyed the challenges of the 2021 season. “I felt the time was right — for me,” Payton said. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about. … Not many get to choose their terms. And I looked at it as an opportunity to see my kids more, to travel more, to get in better shape.”

Payton has enjoyed the time he has spent with the Saints as he has gifted them with a great playoff contending team. With the playoffs, Payton has a 161-97 record, which is the best record with a saints coach. Payton as well ranks 21st in NFL history among most wins in the regular season with 152.

It is clear that Payton’s time with the Saints is one to remember. However, this does not mean he is done coaching. Where Payton plans to go next is yet to be determined.