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3 Candidates Are Reportedly Emerging For Saints Job

A closeup of a New Orleans Saints helmet on the football field.

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19: A helmet of the New Orleans Saints sits on the ground before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

With Sean Payton announcing his retirement just a few days ago, the New Orleans Saints are getting a very late start to their head coaching search. But a few names are quickly emerging.

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Saints' current head coaching candidates consists of three top candidates. Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn have all made the cut so far.

Of the three, Allen is the only one with head coaching experience. He went 8-28 in 2.5 seasons with the Oakland Raiders and served as their acting head coach when Sean Payton was unavailable this year.

Leftwich is considered one of the top offensive coaches in the NFL right now. He helped Jameis Winston (now with the Saints) have his best season as a pro in 2019. Since 2020, he's worked with Tom Brady to make the team one of the best offensive juggernauts.

Glenn finished his NFL playing career with the Saints in 2008 and spent five years as their defensive backs coach from 2016 to 2020. But in his first year as the Lions defensive coordinator, his defense came up the second-most points in the league.

Due to their late start, the Saints are going to miss out on a couple of candidates who fans would have liked to at least see interviewed.

Fortunately they will still have plenty of superb candidates to pick from. Few teams in the NFL seeking a new head coach are as close to playoff contention as the Saints.

A few big changes could see the Saints back in the playoffs next year.

Then again, they could also struggle to find a suitable replacement. Coaches like Sean Payton don't grow on trees.