With the NFL regular season over, several teams have already booted their head coaches out the door.
While there are more to come, one of the more interesting names floating around is Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints.
Unlike coaches who have been fired or are hitting the end of their contracts, Payton is under contract until 2017.
However, with the Saints missing the playoffs for the second straight season and seemingly heading toward a rebuild, the NFL world thinks Payton could be on the move. But it will cost a team looking to hire him.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, if the Saints decide to make Payton available, it will cost teams a second-round draft pick to “trade” for him (technically teams can’t trade coaches, but they can pay compensation to have a coach released from his contract).
This is a high price for a coach, even one who’s proven adept at his job. With coaches like Chip Kelly, Jim Tomsula, Mike Pettine, and likely several others all floating around freely, giving up a potential superstar for a coach is risky.
It may also be worth it for teams who aren’t willing to sit through a long rebuild. Teams like the 49ers, Eagles, and Browns are all looking for coaches and may want a proven coach to speed up the process and possibly attract free agents.
People around the NFL are still hesitant to say Payton will leave New Orleans. SI’s Peter King put the chances at “50/50” while ESPN’s Mike Triplett said that the Saints are still very much in play if Payton doesn’t find a team he wants to join more.
It could be one of the more interesting coaching stories to monitor in the offseason, and with several teams looking to shake things up, Payton could become one of the most attractive prizes in the offseason.
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