MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints watches the game against the Indianapolis Colts from the sidelines during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints reportedly have agreed on a contract that will keep the head coach with the team for the next few years, FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer first reported.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter says the deal is for five years, while CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman says the compensation is in the ballpark of Bill Belichick’s $7.5 million salary per season.
There had been speculation the past few months that Payton, who was suspended for the season because of the bounty scandal, might leave New Orleans after a contract extension he and the team had agreed upon was rejected by the league. Payton was mentioned in connection with with the Dallas Cowboys job, but Jerry Jones appears set to retain Jason Garrett as his head coach.
Payton has been with the Saints since 2006 and has gone 67-37 with them. He has led the team to four playoff appearances, including a Super Bowl win.
Without Payton as coach, the Saints are going through their worst season since an 8-8 finish in 2008. They had gone 37-11 the past three seasons and are 7-8 entering Sunday’s season finale.
After seeing the Saints without Payton, it’s hard to say he’s not worth that kind of money. Drew Brees has thrown the second-most interceptions of his career (18), and he has his lowest completion percentage (62.7%) since 2003. About the only upside to the suspension for Payton, besides having some time off, is that his bank account should see a nice benefit.