METAIRIE, La. -- Sean Payton shot down the notion that he would consider walking away after this, his ninth year as head coach of the New Orleans Saints.
“Absolutely no way,” Payton said when asked Thursday about speculation that was put out there by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King earlier in the week.
King said in a video for The MMQB that coaches sometimes start to feel “a little wanderlust” when they’ve been in the same place for close to a decade and that Payton’s mentor Bill Parcells would always leave teams too early instead of too late.
“So it wasn’t a report? Peter King offered his 10 things he thinks. It’s silly. Won’t happen,” Payton said.
Payton then added, “You’ve gotta consider the source” -- a likely reference to a relationship with King that soured after King’s coverage of the Saints’ bounty scandal.
It's fair for King to speculate. But even if you buy into his line of thinking, the idea seems awfully premature.
Although the Saints’ season has taken a wicked downturn this year with their 5-8 record and four-game home losing streak, there’s no reason to think Payton would be eager to walk away. He still has three years left on a deal worth around $8 million per year. He has a great deal of influence and control in the power structure with owner Tom Benson and general manager Mickey Loomis. And he’s still got a quarterback in Drew Brees that should give him a chance to win championships for at least a few more years.