By Danny Cox
The New Orleans Saints are currently without their head coach Sean Payton for the 2012 NFL season. After news came on Sunday that the league had voided his multiyear contract extension announced last year, the Saints may be without Sean Payton for good.
League sources say that the contract was voided and therefore will make Sean Payton a free agent after the current season. It is expected that he will be most sought-after coach in years, and that his former assistant coaching home in Dallas could be his next stop.
Payton confirmed the news of his contract extension being voided to FoxSports.
It appears as Payton went up to the NFL offices in March so that he could appeal his yearlong suspension due to the bounty scandal. While there, he asked Roger Goodell about the status of his contract extension, and it was then that Payton was told it was unsatisfactory as it was initially constituted.
So, in other words…it was voided.
The biggest issue in the contract is a clause that would allow Sean Payton to leave the Saints and walk away from his deal if general manager Mickey Loomis was fired, suspended, or left the Saints organization.
Loomis was suspended for the first eight games of this season due to his role in the Saints bounty scandal.
The NFL believed that that kind of language in Payton’s contract would essentially set a bad example for the contracts of other coaches in the league. Therefore, the deal was rejected by the NFL and this was long before Loomis was ever suspended.
On Sunday morning, the league issued a statement on the situation and said that there had been “no determination” yet made on Payton’s contract status after 2012.
“All contracts between clubs and their employees must be approved by the commissioner, and we do not comment on specific terms of individual contracts,” the statement said. “Any comment regarding the matter should come from Coach Payton and the Saints.”
It is believed by some that the yearlong suspension for Payton in 2012 would put a hold on his old contract and keep him committed to New Orleans through 2013. There is no confirmation that this is truth as of yet though.
While Payton has been suspended, he was granted permission by the NFL to work for Saints owner Tom Benson’s other professional sports team, the New Orleans Hornets. This kind of strong relationship is what many believe will be the reason that Payton ends up staying with the Saints no matter what.
His contract extension that was voided was to run through the 2015 season. Now, he could become a free agent and possibly end up with the Cowboys. Dallas is a place that Payton has ties to and many think he has wanted to return to.
Payton worked in Dallas as an assistant head coach from 2003 until 2005. It was after that time with the Cowboys that Payton got hired on in New Orleans.
Current Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has not done badly in his position, but a seasoned veteran coach like Sean Payton doesn’t just come along everyday. Should the Saints coach become a free agent after this year, Dallas would most certainly take a look at someone that has a Super Bowl championship under his belt.
Especially a Super Bowl championship with a franchise that has long been labeled as cursed.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.