Sean Payton Arizona Cardinals speculation, rumors: Does GM hire hurt chances to get coach?

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
View Comments

The Arizona Cardinals are searching for a new coach and speculation is swirling about who will succeed Kliff Kingsbury.

The name at the forefront of the chatter? Former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.

Rumors and chatter have intensified about the coach's candidacy for the Arizona job since it was reported Wednesday that the Cardinals had received permission to interview Payton, who is still under contract with the Saints.

Will Arizona be able to hire Payton, 59, who went 152-89 in 15 seasons in New Orleans (and won a Super Bowl)?

Check out the latest speculation linking Sean Payton to the Arizona Cardinals.

More:Arizona Cardinals' next coach odds: Brian Flores surges in odds to replace Kliff Kingsbury

Does GM hire hurt Cardinals' chances to land Sean Payton?

How does the Arizona Cardinals' hiring on Monti Ossenfort impact their chances to hire Sean Payton as head coach?

Saints Wire's John Sigler took a look in a recent story.

"Ossenfort has no ties to Sean Payton, who Cardinals ownership is in the process of recruiting for their open head coach position," he wrote. And the Cardinals never so much as met with Payton’s presumed preferences for the job — Saints personnel executives like Jeff Ireland and Khai Harley, and their former scouting director Ryan Pace. New Orleans won’t allow Payton to bring Ireland or Harley with him as lateral moves, so it seems they won’t have an inroad to Arizona with Ossenfort taking over.

"Does that take the Cardinals out of the running? Not at all. They were the only team out of the four to have requested permission to interview Payton without a general manager under contract, so now the playing-field has been leveled with Denver, Houston, and Carolina. Payton has spoken reportedly about the critical relationship he values with a front office and ownership group, so Arizona won’t have an edge when it comes to bringing in someone Payton has worked with before. Things just got a little more intriguing."

Arizona Cardinals coaching candidates:Who could replace Kliff Kingsbury as head coach?

Could Cardinals lose out on Sean Payton to Chargers?

There is a lot of speculation swirling that the Los Angeles Chargers could be Sean Payton's preferred landing spot, should the team move on from coach Brandon Staley after their NFL playoffs collapse against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Some NFL insiders are not buying it.

ESPN's Adam Schefter said: "I will say this: There's been a lot of speculation about Sean Payton in Los Angeles. It's hard to see this franchise with its history being as aggressive as it would need to be to go get Sean Payton.

He continued: "I don't know how realistic that is. It's hard to imagine a loss like this wouldn't result in some type of changes. It wouldn't necessarily mean Brandon Staley, they'll have to evaluate that." 

NOLA.com's Jedd Duncan tweeted: "I see a lot of Sean Payton-to-the-Chargers speculation, and there's no doubt SP would love to coach a talent like Justin Herbert. But such a move would be out of character for the Spanos ownership family. Brandon Staley makes $4M a year. Payton would cost 4-to-5 times that much."

More:Brian Flores Arizona Cardinals coach speculation swirls after Monti Ossenfort GM hire

Arizona 'makes the most sense' for Sean Payton

CBS Sports Radio's Zach Gelb said: "Arizona makes the most sense to me from what I’ve heard around the league because of several things; one, he really likes Kyler Murray and he thinks he can do some things with @K1."

Somers:How much does a bounty and a lawsuit figure into Cardinals' pursuit of new coach?

Saints say Cardinals 'well aware' of cost for Sean Payton

Sean Payton is going to cost the Arizona Cardinals, or which ever NFL team hires him, compensation of some sort because the former New Orleans Saints coach is still under contract with that franchise.

Evidently, Arizona, and other NFL teams potentially looking to have Payton as their next head coach, are "well aware" of that fact.

“We haven’t settled on exactly what the compensation is going to be yet, but they’re well aware that there is going to be compensation,” Saints GM Mickey Loomis said, through Pro Football Talk. “It’s going to be different for every team because they have different picks and different things available to them,” Loomis said. “They have to get our permission to have a discussion with him, and then we have to have the compensation settled before they can actually hire him.”

More:Cardinals might have to part with a package of draft picks or players to hire Sean Payton

Sean Payton to the Arizona Cardinals is 'pretty legit'

NFL insider Ian Rapoport joined the Pat McAfee Show on Friday and discussed Sean Payton and the Arizona Cardinals.

He broke down the sweepstakes for the former New Orleans Saints coach as follows: "He has the Texans, Cardinals and Broncos. The Broncos are going to be Tuesday, presumably the other two after that. He is a strong candidate at all those places. I think ... going into this I would've said 'I don't know if Sean Payton would go to the Cardinals, now I think it's pretty legit."

Rapoport also discussed Payton's potential fit in Arizona, saying "he is a great coach and will no doubt give some accountability to Kyler Murray and make sure of it." 

You can catch more of Rapoport's comments in the video.

Sean Payton has 'done homework' on Arizona Cardinals

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero wrote about Payton's candidacy for the Arizona Cardinals' coaching job and included this nugget: "Former Saints head coach Sean Payton, who a source says has done homework on the Arizona job in case it comes open but wouldn't come cheap."

Sean Payton a 'fan' of Kyler Murray

NFL Media's Tom Pelissero tweeted Wednesday that Payton is a "fan" of Kyler Murray.

His tweet said: "Mentioned in story with @RapSheet last weekend on looming changes with the #Cardinals that Sean Payton had been doing homework on the Arizona job. He's a Kyler Murray fan, and with no GM in place, it'd be an opportunity to set up the whole operation."

More:Arizona Cardinals' coaching job ranked NFL's best, and worst, current NFL coach opening

Sean Payton has a history with Cardinals

On a November appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Payton revealed he had previously worked for the Cardinals franchise, when the team was based in St. Louis, as a ball boy.

"I was a ball boy for this team," Payton told Cowherd in that interview. "I'm going to date myself, but when the St. Louis Cardinals, before they were the Arizona Cardinals, their training camp was held at Eastern Illinois where I went to school.  So the early years there in 83, 84, 85 … we cleaned the rooms, bring towels to the rooms, we'd have a summer job."

He added: "Finally, my junior, senior year I handed out rosters and got to eat with the team, work for the team."

Interestingly, Payton talked about his relationship with the Bidwill family in the interview.

Michael Bidwill is now the owner of the team, inheriting it from his father, Bill Bidwill, who had owned or been a part-owner of the club since 1962.

“I think I know that family well enough,” Payton told Cowherd.

More:Arizona Cardinals next coach odds favor Byron Leftwich, Eric Bieniemy, Sean Payton

Sean Payton talked Kyler Murray on radio show in October

Payton, currently an analyst for Fox Sports, shared how he would utilize Murray in an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd in October, saying that the solution for the QB was to find “a package that suits his talents, but also takes some pressure off him as well.”

“What would I like to see?,” Payton added. “I’d love to see him have a better running game under center. I’d love to see him hand the ball off to another really good player and take a deep breath. I want to see him have a few more layups and when I need those (scrambling) plays they’re going to come spontaneously through the red zone or third down.

“But I think if we’re counting on those every week, that’s a stressful job.”

'Created a monster':Arizona Cardinals teammate slams Kyler Murray's contract extension

New odds favor Sean Payton to be next Cardinals' coach

There's a new favorite in odds to be the Arizona Cardinals' next head coach.

OddsChecker has former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton as the favorite to replace Kliff Kingsbury as Arizona's head coach.

And he's a pretty big favorite.

It puts Payton at +250 to become the next coach of the Cardinals, giving him a 28.6% chance.

Current Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is second in the odds at +700, having a 12.5% chance to land the job.

The third coach in the odds is Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, who is given an 11.8% shot with +750 odds.

DeAndre Hopkins trade:Odds favor Chiefs, Patriots, Packers, Cowboys

Sean Payton raved about Kyler Murray in 2019

Payton raved about Murray at the 2019 NFL combine, when he was still the coach of the New Orleans Saints and Murray was a prospect coming out of Oklahoma.

The Cardinals ended up selecting Murray with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

"Man, he's explosive," Payton said. "He's one of those players as you know, Madden used to say, he was never it. It's so hard to rush him because he can flush to the right, make a play, to the left. You do feel a poise that he plays with. … His film is too good. Ultimately, when I say, it's too good. And I like him."

Would Sean Payton be a great fit as the next coach of the Arizona Cardinals?

Sporting News: Cardinals ranked as best fit for Sean Payton

Vinnie Iyer wrote that "The Cardinals are No. 1 with a bullet ... Payton made it work for many seasons with a different kind of undersized QB in New Orleans, Drew Brees. He could find the right combination of diverse downfield passing and running to get more out of the Cardinals' offense. Fangio's influence could also raise the pass-rush effectiveness and playmaking quotient out of a base 3-4. This is the perfect Payton fit."

What's next?:Kliff Kingsbury will have NFL, college coaching options after Arizona Cardinals' firing

Sean Payton's next team odds

Arizona could have some competition for Sean Payton.

Bookies.com lists the Cardinals as the favorite to land him, with a 28.6% (+250) chance, but other teams aren't far behind.

The Los Angeles Rams, who might need a new coach if Sean McVay steps away, are at 20% (+400), while the Saints come in at 16.7% (+500) to acquire their old coach.

The Indianapolis Colts are given a 15.4% (+550) shot at hiring Payton, while the Denver Broncos are at 13.3% (+650).

Kliff Kingsbury firing reaction:NFL world sounds off on Arizona Cardinals' coaching 'con'

Is Sean Payton the perfect coach to turn Cardinals into a winning team?

The Pat McAfee Show recently tackled Sean Payton's fit with the Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray, which you can watch in this video.

Are Cardinals the perfect landing spot for Payton?

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio and Chris Simms broke down why the Arizona Cardinals could check a lot of boxes for Sean Payton in this video.

Reach Jeremy Cluff at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

Support local journalism: Subscribe to azcentral.com today.

View Comments