The team is expected to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss Payton’s time away.
Just days ago, Rapoport said Payton hadn’t informed the organization that he would return.
Rapoport said the injury battles New Orleans faced were “trying and extremely taxing for Payton,” which necessitated some time away to consider his next move.
Payton, one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL, is still under contract through the 2024 season, and he would be walking away from at least $45 million if he decides not to return to the team.
While it isn’t clear what the future holds for the Saints’ longtime head coach, many have speculated he will take some time before joining another team — in Bruce Arians fashion – or possibly consider a lucrative on-screen position with a broadcasting network.
Payton ended his career with the Saints with a 30-9 win against the rival Atlanta Falcons on Jan. 9. Nola.com reports the win marked his 161st win as the team’s head coach — 68 more than Jim Mora, the Saints’ second-winningest coach.
Payton was hired as head coach of the New Orleans Saints in 2006 and has since established himself as one of the NFL’s most successful coaches. He’s led the team to eight playoff berths, six NFC South titles and in 2009 captured the franchise’s first world championship with a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
Check back with OutKick for updates.
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