Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has finalized his plans for the 2022 NFL season. According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Payton will be joining FOX for the upcoming season, and he will be part of the network’s Fox NFL Sunday broadcast.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Payton has accepted a job with Fox,” Florio said. “The Super Bowl XLIV-winning coach will work in studio with Fox throughout 2022. It’s believed that he’ll join the Fox NFL Sunday crew on off days for Jimmy Johnson.”
Payton said last month that he was likely to join the media for the upcoming season, but no deal had been officially agreed upon at that point. Now, Payton’s move to the booth has reportedly been finalized.
“When asked if a job was materializing he said, ‘I think so, I just don’t want to be the one that puts my foot in my mouth before the company does. But it is. Soon. Probably a studio job,’” Payton said in April.
Payton hasn’t ruled out a return to coaching in the future, but now his attention is focused on becoming a good broadcaster at FOX.
“Down the road, if I choose to come back and coach, great,” Payton said. “But you want to be good at whatever you’re doing. So I’m looking forward to trying to be good in the studio.”
Payton was reportedly being targeted by some NFL teams prior to him taking the job with FOX
When Payton announced that he was retiring as the head coach of the Saints, speculation immediately began on his next steps. He was quickly linked to the Dallas Cowboys, but that obviously did not happen. In the months following his retirement, a couple of teams across the league have reportedly been eyeing Payton as he looked to get into the media.
A report came out last week that the Carolina Panthers were eyeing Payton as the team’s next head coach, as the future of current coach Matt Rhule is in doubt. Payton was also linked to the Miami Dolphins alongside current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. He quickly shot down those rumors, saying that if he wanted to continue coaching next season, he never would have left the Saints.
“I’ve no clue about the Tampa Bay, Miami Dolphins [and] Tom Brady rumor,” said Payton. “My understanding is there was a request that was put in, or their intermediaries talked — and I’m like the rest of you, I heard that story. I wasn’t — I told you guys that already. If I’d have been ready to coach this year, I would have stayed in New Orleans. So it’s nice to have someone interested, and that’s about it. Our focus on Tom Brady has been beating him, not joining him. Honestly though, I don’t chime in. I watch you guys chime in.”