A lot has been made about the timing of Tom Brady's decision to come out of his brief retirement and rejoin the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But one piece of the puzzle is former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who might have joined Brady in coming out of early retirement had the Saints not denied him permission to speak to another team.
According to Miami Dolphins insider Chris Kouffman of the Three Yards Per Carry podcast, the Saints denied Miami the chance to interview Payton for a potential trade. This denial took place well before the lawsuit that Brian Flores filed against the Dolphins - another sticking point.
One theory is that Brady's plan was to come out of retirement, become a Dolphins executive and recruit Payton to coach the team. But it's been reported that Flores' lawsuit discouraged Brady from joining the Dolphins in any capacity.
If Payton was denied the chance to speak to Miami before the Flores lawsuit, it pokes a giant hole in the theory. So we can probably assume that the whole "plan" Brady allegedly had was never a real thing.
Sean Payton retired after the 2021 NFL season and has given little-to-no indication that he's coming back in 2022.
Maybe Payton will feel the itch to coach again in 2024 or even 2023. He certainly wouldn't be the first coach to return after a 1-2 year break to reassess things.
But the Saints still have Payton under contract for the foreseeable future. Anyone who wants to sign Payton has to go through them first. And that's not happening anytime soon.
Will Sean Payton coach in the NFL again?