The NFL has already seen two head coaching vacancies open up this season -- and plenty more appear to be on the way over the next six weeks. Sean Payton, who stepped down as New Orleans Saints head coach last year, is awaiting his next opportunity -- and a few intriguing jobs that might become available.
ESPN is reporting two teams Payton is keeping an eye on are the Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals. Payton has been connected with those openings because the quarterback situations are stable, particularly with Justin Herbert entrenched as the franchise quarterback of the Chargers and Kyler Murray coming off his extension with the Cardinals.
Any interested team for Payton's services would have to give New Orleans compensation since Payton is still under contract with the franchise. Payton could have interest in other teams, but those teams would have to work out a deal with the Saints in order to make him their next head coach. Payton has two years remaining on his contract.
Payton went 152-89 in his 15 years in New Orleans (.631 win percentage), winning seven division titles, nine playoff games, and Super Bowl XLIV in the 2009 season. His 144 wins with Drew Brees at quarterback are tied for the second most among a quarterback and head coach duo in NFL history.
The Saints went 9-8 last season with four different starting quarterbacks. For Payton to coach a franchise quarterback like Herbert or Murray would make sense if the Chargers and/or Cardinals jobs become available. Kliff Kingsbury is on the hot seat in Arizona after a 4-7 start and Brandon Staley's future is up in the air with Los Angeles in danger of missing the playoffs in each of his two seasons at the helm.
The offseason could be interesting for Payton if both of those jobs become available.