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Although we’re only 5 weeks into the NFL season, multiple teams – including the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts – are reportedly interested in trading for Saints head coach Sean Payton this off-season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported.
Payton signed a contract extension with the Saints in 2013 that runs through 2017, at $8 million a year. Schefter reports that this won’t deter the Dolphins and Colts from inquiring about trades.
Considering that the Dolphins fired Joe Philbin after their loss to the Jets in Week 4, and the Colts’ current head coach, Chuck Pagano, doesn’t have a contract after this season, the two teams are the heavy favorites to make a run at Payton.
Payton has coached in New Orleans for 10 years and has amassed a record of 81-51 in eight-plus years at the helm. Despite the controversy that surrounded him in 2012 as a result of Bountygate, he’s still widely regarded as a strong and competent head coach.
As Pro Football Talk notes, Payton will likely only move somewhere with an established quarterback, as he and Drew Brees have thrived together in New Orleans. Both Indianapolis and Miami fit that bill.
Although Payton has so far downplayed the rumors, it’s still quite possible that he will be the first big trade target of the off-season.