As the world got ready for the Super Bowl on Sunday, social media circles were burning up with a rumor that New Orleans coach Sean Payton was leaving to become general manager of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Saints acted quickly to cut that one down, issuing the following statement: "Coach Payton is the Saints Head Coach; he is not going to the Dallas Cowboys in any capacity."
I don’t know how these things get started sometimes. It’s true that Payton has some ties to Dallas. He was the quarterbacks coach there before joining the Saints and has a close relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
But how does that set the stage for him suddenly leaving to become Dallas’ general manager? Payton’s under contract to the Saints.
Also, Payton is a football coach. He’s never been a general manager and, at this point in his life, has shown no sign he wants to be an administrator. He’s left that role up to general manager Mickey Loomis in New Orleans and focused on coaching.
Payton also seems quite happy in New Orleans, where he and quarterback Drew Brees are widely credited for helping rebuild the Saints and the city. Also, Payton’s an intense competitor. He won last year’s Super Bowl and he still has Brees in his prime, which makes the Saints a contender to win another Super Bowl in the near future.
Payton has a great situation in New Orleans. Owner Tom Benson leaves football matters up to Payton and Loomis. That’s not the way things have worked in Dallas, where Jones is heavily involved in football matters.
At some point in his career, Payton may want to make a move over to the administrative side, like his mentor, Bill Parcells. But I don’t see this being the time or the situation for him to leave a perfect situation in New Orleans.