NEW ORLEANS, La. —Normally, I wait until the annual Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., to unveil my first mock draft, but after the Saints lost to the Carolina Panthers 44-38 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, I figured why wait.
Sean Payton’s second rebuilding job might be more of a chore than his first.
Friday night’s news that Payton and the New Orleans Saints have agreed to the outline of a new contract extension should bring joy to a fan base that’s been suffering since the bounty scandal broke back in March. Go ahead and celebrate a bit, because this means Payton isn’t jumping over to the Dallas Cowboys.
But don’t automatically assume that Payton’s stepping back in will instantly repair all that’s wrong with the Saints. Assuming the deal gets finalized and is approved by the NFL, which nullified Payton’s previous contract extension, the coach is going to have his work cut out for him when he rejoins the team.
The league previously has said Payton will be eligible to return from his season-long suspension the day after the Super Bowl. It’s a good thing Payton recently competed in a half-marathon, because he is going to have to hit the ground running if the Saints are going to get back to what they once were.
With Aaron Kromer coaching the first six games and Joe Vitt taking over after that, the Saints are 7-8 heading into Sunday’s season finale against Carolina. The Saints are missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
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By Adam Schefter | ESPN
Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a five-year contract extension, according to a league source.
The terms of the extension are undisclosed, but may be similar to the deal that was earlier disapproved by the league, according to a league source.
The Saints were given written permission by the NFL to negotiate a contract extension with the suspended Payton in November.
The extension agreed upon by Payton and the Saints was rejected by the league because it contained a clause allowing Payton to leave if general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended or departed the organization.