In case you haven’t heard, suspended coach Sean Payton had his contract extension with the Saints voided by the league. There was a clause in there that allowed Payton to walk away from the contract if general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended or left the team. Czar Goodell didn’t like that. So, as of now, Payton doesn’t have a contract for next year. And while it’s likely that he would stay with the Saints and owner Tom Benson, to whom he is very close, there’s a chance Payton could go elsewhere after the season… like Dallas, where has a home… or Philadelphia. Phil Sheridan hinted at the latter possibility in his column today. Sport Illustrated’s Peter King took it to a new level with this:
That leaves New Orleans, Dallas and Philadelphia. If Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie fires Andy Reid at the end of the season, Payton, who coached quarterbacks in Philly in 1997 and '98, would be intriguing to him, and I believe Lurie would try hard to get him. It's a Lurie kind of move, trying to head off Dallas at the pass and take the kind of jump with a playoff-ready team that would give them a chance to break out of their recent malaise.
I’d take that. Jon Gruden seems to be the fan favorite as Reid successor, but Payton, too, has a Super Bowl ring, and he has coached in the NFL as recently as last year. Gruden, despite being in the MNF booth, hasn’t coached in the league since 2009.
Thus begins the Eagles' mythical coaching search… while the team prepares to play its eighth game of the season tonight.
More on Payton's odd situation on ESPN