Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is leaving the door open to return to the sideline in the near future.
“If the right situation presented itself, I would definitely be interested,” Payton said during a recent interview on the “New Orleans.Football” podcast. “And there’s no utopia, if you will, when it comes to teams, but if I felt like it was the right situation, I would have an interest in that.
“That all being said, that could come in a year, that could come in two years.”
Payton listed the opportunity to win consistently and a franchise’s willingness to build the correct culture among the factors in his decision to return to coaching.
“The most important element is functional ownership (and) front office,” he said. “There’s a handful of teams that aren’t, and those teams, regardless of what takes place, they can win on Sunday, but they have trouble winning long term.”
The former coach has two years remaining on his contract with the Saints, leaving any interested teams needing to compensate New Orleans to obtain Payton’s services. The 57-year-old left the Saints in January after 16 seasons.
The NFL punished the Miami Dolphins in August for having impermissible discussions with Payton’s agent and Tom Brady. Following a tampering probe, the league docked the Dolphins two draft picks and fined and suspended owner Stephen Ross. Miami ultimately hired Mike McDaniel as its next head coach.
Payton is currently working for Fox Sports. However, he said he experienced FOMO (fear of missing out) after Week 2’s matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Saints.
The Super Bowl XLIV-winning coach also said his absence from the sideline has allowed him to recharge his batteries, similar to when he was suspended for a year as part of the Bountygate scandal.
Payton led the Saints to a 152-89 record during his tenure at the helm.