Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 11/4/12
We won’t see Sean Payton on the sidelines this season, but there’s no doubt he’ll be returning to the coaching ranks in 2013. Where, though, is yet to be determined. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL has voided Payton’s recent three-year contract extension, allowing the suspended Saints coach to test the free agent waters after this season. The extension was announced in September, and it would’ve kept him in the Big Easy through 2015. However, it was nullified due to a clause that would’ve “enabled Payton to walk away from the deal if general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended, fired or left the New Orleans organization.” The league thought it sets a bad precedent, voiding the contract a day before Loomis was suspended as part of the BountyGate scandal. While there’s a chance that the deal might “toll” — keeping Payton under contract through 2013 — Schefter willfully states that Payton will become a free agent. And if does, Schefter speculates, he may end up returning to Dallas, where he operated as the assistant head coach from 2003 to 2005. Payton owns a house in the area and spends a lot of his free time there, so logistically the fit makes sense. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is feeling some heat after the team has gotten off to a sluggish 3-4 start, and a non-playoff season could force owner Jerry Jones to oust the second-year head man. If Big D chooses to retain Garrett or is not in the market for a coach, there’ll be plenty of suitors for Payton to choose from, making this a situation to monitor in the coming months.
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