Sean Payton stepping away from Saints after 16 years
Saints Head Coach Sean Payton confirmed the rumors this afternoon at a press conference announcing he is stepping away after 16 years with the franchise.
The announcement comes just 24 hours after Saints owner Gayle Benson said she didn’t know what Payton’s plans were for the 2022 season.
In his 15 seasons, Payton became the winningest head coach in Saints history with a record of 152-89 and brought the franchise its first Super Bowl in 2010.
This last year had its fair share of challenges from being displaced for a month due to Hurricane Ida, having 22 players out due to COVID protocols and testing positive for COVID for the second time. However, Payton says the past season wasn’t exhausting, it was exciting.
As for life after the Saints, the 58-year-old coach isn’t quite sure what’s next although he did mention, he would like to try TV. “I don’t like the word retirement. Mr. B didn’t like it either. He always said retirement’s overrated, we get sold this whole image of retirement by these investment groups on TV and golf courses and retirement– and so, yeah, I still have a vision for doing things in football. And I’ll be honest with you, that might be coaching again at some point. I don’t think it’s this year. I think maybe in the future, but that’s not where my heart is right now. It’s not at all. This fan base has been amazing. The passion that has been handed down generationally is unbelievable because when you’re a young kid you root for who your mom and dad root for– you don’t know… all of that just makes what we do–man, fulfilling. Pretty special.”
Another testament to how much Payton cares about the people of New Orleans and the culture, he gave Mrs. B a king cake and a hundred more to the media.