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No Payton? No Brady? New NFC South Would Appeal to Falcons

Landscape of Falcons' division could change drastically with departure of two legends

In the wake of last weekend's shocking home upset loss to the Rams, what is the future for 44-year-old Buccaneers' quarterback Tom Brady? And - in a related story for those that make their living in the NFC South - what of Saints' coach Sean Payton?

If one, or both, of those NFL legends retire this offseason the Falcons' home division would dramatically change. And by "change" we mean, of course, "improve."

*Atlanta is 0-4 against Brady's Bucs the last two seasons, allowing 30+ points in each game.

*The Falcons are 9-21 all-time vs. Payton, who owns the most wins against them of any NFL head coach.

In the wake of the Divisional Round loss to L.A., Brady said he hadn't yet pondered retirement and "We'll just take it day by day and see where we're at."

The future of Payton, meanwhile, is impossible to pin down.

Why? Because Payton himself can’t pin it down.

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The Dallas Cowboys are attached here, at least via circumstantial evidence. (Read the Jerry Jones-related background here.) It’s been reported that he’s considering retirement. And it’s been reported that FOX Sports would like to lure him from the sideline and into the TV booth.

On Tuesday morning, Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com offered an update of sorts on Payton.

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“Sean Payton met with Saints GM Mickey Loomis for a couple of hours on Monday. That’s the latest and only news I’ve got on that front,” Duncan tweeted.

This comes on the Monday heels of team owner Gayle Benson saying she doesn’t know what Payton - who still has years left on his contract with New Orleans - might do.

And now comes FOX Sports insider Jay Glazer commenting on Payton’s future in New Orleans.

“Sean changes his mind every two seconds,” 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.”

Well … that’s a problem.

Glazer said the past two seasons have taken its 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 the Saints sort of need to know; indeed, as much as Payton has earned the right to some elbow room in which to make a decision, New Orleans is owed something as well.

FOX would also like to know. And, we suppose, so would Dallas’ beleaguered boss Mike McCarthy.