The Packers, of course, went with Mike McCarthy because of his familiarity within the Packers' organization. When Payton found out the news, he was furious.
"Sean Payton says he interviewed with Green Bay for their HC job in 2006 and then went to New Orleans for that interview," tweeted NFL insider Air Meirov. "The only thing he thought about was the GB job. He threw his phone when he found out Mike McCarthy got the job. 'It was the best thing that happened to me.'"
It all worked out in the end as Payton went on to get hired by the Saints and won a Super Bowl in 2009.
Former Packers' VP of player finance Andrew Brandt offered a bit more insight into Green Bay's decision to go with McCarthy over Payton.
"Our two finalists for Head Coach of the Packers in 2006 were Sean Payton and Mike McCarthy. Mike had been with the Packers before, got the nod due to familiarity. Sean went to the Saints, and did ok," Brandt said on Twitter.
How many Super Bowls would the Packers have won with a Sean Payton-Aaron Rodgers duo? Probably a few.
Payton will now take the next year off. It's widely believed he'll get back into coaching in 2023.