As of this moment, the Chicago Bears are sorting through 10 head coaching candidates in their quest to find Matt Nagy’s replacement. Most believe the current market of options is set but some aren’t so sure. There is still a possibility one unexpected name becomes available over the next week or two. People are watching Pete Carroll in Seattle or Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh. Yet some eyes remain fixed on Sean Payton in New Orleans.
The Saints head coach is coming off arguably one of his most impressive seasons, dragging that team with scrubs at quarterback to a winning record. However, the future is a mystery. New Orleans faces huge salary cap problems going into this offseason and they still have no clear solution at quarterback. This is why some still think it is at least possible he looks for the exit door. That is what made the comments from Jane Slater of NFL Network so fascinating.
Apparently, Payton has a way out if he wants to take it.
This is where speculation tends to take flight. It has not been almost two weeks since the regular season ended and not one team has hired a new head coach yet. Not even the Jacksonville Jaguars who fired Urban Meyer before the season was even over. It leads one to wonder why this is taking so long. A conspiracy theorist would guess that they might be taking their time in order to see what Payton does.
There is no question he would instantly become the most coveted candidate on the market. A man with a Super Bowl ring and four division championships in the past five years. One of the best offensive minds of his generation. Sean Payton gets the most out of his quarterbacks and wins football games. It is hard not to dream about what he could do for Justin Fields in Chicago.
The last thing the Bears want to do is fill their coaching vacancy only to then see Payton leave the Saints and make himself a free agent. From what Slater says, that possibility is out there. It will be interesting to see what happens by the end of this weekend. The first new head coach figures to be in place by then.