Saints, Sean Payton put rumor to rest with reported 5-year contract extension

Christopher Dabe

NEW ORLEANS — The lingering rumor about Sean Payton's coaching future can be put to rest.

Fox Sports reported Sunday that Payton and the Saints agreed on a five-year contract extension that should quash any thought about his possible departure from New Orleans to coach the Cowboys.

Payton has long been rumored to be a target of the Cowboys with coach Jason Garrett's contract set to expire after the 2019 season'

But with team owner Gayle Benson keeping the franchise in good standing after the death of her husband and former owner, Tom, and a front office that largely as remained intact for several years, Payton is unlikely to find a better situation than what he has in New Orleans.

The Saints have reached the NFC title game three times and won a Super Bowl once with Payton as coach. The team won 24 regular season games over the last two seasons and figures to be a Super Bowl contender again this season. 

Keeping Payton with the Saints for another five seasons would likely mean outlasting 40-year-old quarterback Drew Brees, who has been with the Saints since just after Payton's arrival in 2006. 

Payton coached the Cowboys as an assistant under Bill Parcells before the Saints hired him.

Payton has 119 career coaching wins in the regular season, plus another eight in the postseason. He is the longest tenured coach in franchise history, ahead of Jim Mora (11 seasons, 1986-96).

Among current coaches, only Bill Belichick of the Patriots has been with his team longer (2000).

The Saints play Sunday against the Rams in Los Angeles.