Kristian: Never a doubt Payton would be back
As I have said for months, there was never a doubt that Sean Payton would be back with the Black and Gold at the end of the day. The news on Friday that the team and Payton had reached agreement on a deal reaffirmed that.
So, what about all the stuff playing out in the media, the rumors that Payton would entertain offers from Dallas? Was it just posturing by Payton’s people, or just over-driven hype by the media? Probably a little of both. The whole thing shows you how these negotiations can go, and how the truth can get twisted around in the process.
Remember, in a regular situation, Payton and the team would be in the same building every day. In the current situation, Payton was estranged from face-to-face contact, and that can stretch things out.
I knew that Sean Payton is a prideful guy who wants to go down in the lore of Saints team history. And, he’s got Mickey Loomis and Drew Brees, and the full hands-off support of the team’s owner. If I were head coach, there is no way I’d leave Drew Brees for another team.
Did it come down to money? Maybe, but, well, who’s got more money than Tom Benson?
Remember that Benson has backed Sean Payton through the entire “bounty” mess. I think Sean wanted to be back here, bad, but he wasn’t going to give away his hand.
The outpouring of support from the Who Dat Nation, both during and after the Super Bowl Season, and during Roger Goodell’s beating of the team, had to have also had an impact on Payton. I think he saw an obligation to the fan base, and to Mr. Benson as well, for sticking by him this last year.