NOLA- The gears have been put into motion for a possible end of Sean Payton's time with the New Orleans Saints.
The Los Angeles Rams are expected to ask permission this week to speak with Payton about their head coach opening, according to a source familiar with the situation. General manager Mickey Loomis would be open to trading Payton, the source said.
Payton and Loomis met for about an hour in the Georgia Dome after the Saints-Falcons game Sunday to discuss Payton's future, according to the source.
The source added it's still too early in the process to know the compensation the Saints would ask the Rams for in return for Payton.
Well shit, here I was thinking that the Sean Payton trade rumors were just a bunch of nonsense fabricated by NFL "insiders" who were partaking in the annual tradition of attempting to get ahead of the story for when the Saints eventually do cut ties with their head coach. I thought this was just another case of a bunch of guys who get compensated for timeliness rather than accuracy shooting their yearly shot when it comes to the job security of a man whose recent record is that of others currently seeking new employment. Unfortunately, I couldn't have been more wrong. I mean, if there is any source whose word can be taken at face value then it's an anonymous one. Everyone knows the people that don't want to attach their name or professional reputation to a potential news story are always the most reliable. When I think of "trustworthy" I think of grown men that choose to do their gossiping behind closed doors while cloaked in anonymity. After all, what do they have to gain by repeating something they have heard 126 other people say throughout the course of last three offseasons? It's not like there are people out there that get off on spreading falsehoods as facts while also managing to duck any and all criticism. I hope someone got Sean Payton a wet suit and a surfboard for Christmas because he's basically already a Cali bro...according to the person whose likeness is nothing more than a silhouette.
In all seriousness, I have no idea whether or not Sean Payton is the right person for this franchise going forward. I think it's very possible that he's overstayed his welcome and that his message has grown stale. I would say there's just as good of a chance that he goes 7-9 again next season as there is that the team finally gets back to the playoffs for the first time in what feels like forever. I just think that's a risk worth taking while you have a 'Hall Of Fame' quarterback who keeps defying his age and has an undeniable rapport with the person that was signed to a 5 year extension with a multi-year plan in place to rebuild a team that was drowning in dead money this season. You can really only argue that Sean Payton has been a slightly above average post-BountyGate, but that is unquestionably better than 95% of people that would be taking his position. I don't have full confidence in the Saints current head coach. That said, I have more faith in him than I have in the front office finding the "white whale" that is someone that can come in off the street and do a better job than he did with a young core whose progress was clouded by three blocked kicks and not once mentioned by the people that are predicting some inevitable breakup.