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Sean Payton retiring from Saints HC job, per report

The Saints head coach has been rumored to be looking to take a break.

Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints face an important offseason, and it just got dramatically more important. Head coach Sean Payton informed the team that he is stepping away from the job, per Ian Rapoport.

This report comes just a day after FOX Sports reporter Jay Glazer told a Dallas radio station that Payton was considering retirement. This followed Rapoport reporting over the weekend that Payton was consdering stepping away to recharge his batteries. Both reporters inferred Payton might return after some time off.

If this plays out, the Saints will be the latest team to launch a head coach search. Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is rumored to be a leading candidate. The team is behind the curve with the other clubs with openings through most of their first round of interviews. It’s possible the Saints have some names in mind knowing Payton was considering stepping away. Allen could end up a stopgap measure while Payton recharges his batteries and returns in 2023. There’s a lot of scenarios in play here.