New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton Steps Down After 15 Seasons: 'Not Where My Heart Is Right Now'

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Sean Payton
Sean Payton

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After 15 seasons, Sean Payton has stepped down as New Orleans head coach.

In a news conference Tuesday announcing his decision, the 58-year-old Super Bowl-winning coach revealed he isn't retiring but is still deciding what his future looks like.

Sources told ESPN that television networks reportedly have shown interest in recruiting him, but Payton quickly shot down those rumors.

"I've not spoken to anyone from a media outlet relative to doing television or radio, maybe that opportunity arises, but every time I read something that says, 'He's in line for this job,' I'll call my agent Don and be like, 'Don, did you hear something? Because I'd not heard anything,'" he revealed.

"I think I'd like to do that. I think I'd be pretty good at it," Payton added.

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Payton said despite cutting ties with the Saints, he has no plans in parting ways with the sport just yet.

"I still have a vision for doing things in football and I'll be honest with you – that might be coaching again, at some point… but that's not where my heart is right now," he said.

The coach still has three years left in his contract with the team, after he signed an extension in 2019, according to ESPN.

After 16 years with the team, Payton's career has been met with highs and lows. Four years in, he got the Saints on NFL fans' radars and turned the team into Super Bowl 44 Champions in 2010.

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However, that success was met with scandal, when three years later, the coach was suspended for knowing about but not stopping the team's bounty system, in which players were paid bonuses for hard hits and deliberately injuring opposing players, according to ESPN.

The Saints never returned to the Super Bowl and 2021 was the first season the Saints missed the playoffs in five seasons, with a record of 9-8 after the team was faced with many obstacles, including the retirement of its all-star quarterback Drew Brees and the pandemic.