During his tenure, Payton led the Saints to victory in Super Bowl XLIV, seven NFC South titles and nine playoff appearances.
With Payton out of the Big Easy, it opens the door for a possible reunion with the Dallas Cowboys, who had Payton on staff as the quarterbacks coach from 2003-05.
There would be myriad hoops to jump through here, of course.
Dallas would have to part ways with coach Mike McCarthy, who is just beginning his third season (with owner Jerry Jones upset with how Year 2 ended.)
Dallas would have to negotiate with Payton to keep him from taking a TV job.
Dallas would have to - we assume - create compensation for the Saints, who still have Payton under contract for a number of years.
Really, one question is: Is Payton "retiring'' (as some media outlets phrase it) or "stepping back'' (which can be another thing entirely)?
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But as to what Jerry will actually will do in 2022 is anyone's guess ... and same with Payton, really ...
“Sean changes his mind every two seconds,” FOX Sports insider Jay Glazer said. “We talk about it a lot. It’s why I haven’t reported anything because he changes his mind like every two minutes.”
Glazer said the past two seasons have taken a toll on Payton due to the challenges of COVID-19. And there is no doubt that has presented the NFL with a great deal of obstacles.
But perhaps a reunion in Dallas with the No. 1 offense this past season could be the next challenge Payton is looking to take on. Or maybe that is a year away, which would put Mike McCarthy on the hottest of 2022 seats.
In this episode of the "Locked On Cowboys" Podcast, hosts Marcus Mosher and Landon McCool discuss all of the NFL action from the Divisional Round of the playoffs and their biggest takeaway from each game.
Plus, they debate the latest Payton rumors and if he could return to the Cowboys in 2022 or beyond.
Marcus and Landon deal with all that more on this episode of "Locked On Cowboys." Join us here!