Sean Payton Returning To The Saints Is NFL’s ‘Worst-Kept Secret’ And Could Involve Tom Brady

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It wouldn’t be a complete week without some Sean Payton-Tom Brady buzz, and the rumor mill is working OVERTIME during the final days of 2022.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio sent the Twitterverse into a tizzy Wednesday afternoon after he floated the idea that Payton is planning his return to New Orleans and could bring Tom Brady with him.

And by floated, I mean Florio calls the Payton-Saints reunion one of “the worst-kept secret” in the NFL.

“There’s a growing school of thought in league circles that Payton, if he coaches in 2023, will return to the Saints,” Florio writes before then citing a source with a “finger firmly on the pulse of pro football.”

Could Tom Brady and Sean Payton team up with the Saints?
Sean Payton and Tom Brady with the Saints? (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Tom Brady, Sean Payton and the Saints?

Payton left the Saints nearly one year ago, but has been public about his desire to coach again.

Speculation about Payton’s next move has ranged from the Chargers to the Broncos and other league insiders, including NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, have mentioned a return to the Saints, too.

“As the source put it, Payton’s not going to Denver or Carolina,” Florio continues. “With the Chargers making the playoffs, that job isn’t coming open. The only other potential destination would be the Cowboys, if Dallas loses in the opening round of the playoffs and coach Mike McCarthy gets fired.”

Sean Payton returning to the Saints would be a wild story in itself, but bringing Tom Brady with him may set the NFL world on fire.

But Brady, 45, is set to be a free agent after this season, and (shockingly) hasn’t yet indicted whether he plans to play again next season or not.

It’s also no secret that Brady and Payton have long wanted to share the same sideline. In fact, they’d both probably be in Miami right now had it not been for Brian Flores blowing the lid on the whole thing earlier this year.

“He can go anywhere. Why not the Saints?” Florio said. “Why not team up with Payton? Why not play his home games in the stadium where he won his first Super Bowl?

“Considering the various potential openings for 2023, it could be the only place where Payton and Brady could finish what nearly happened in Miami for 2022.”

The Saints are 6-9 in Dennis Allen’s first season as head coach. Brady and the Bucs, meanwhile, have largely underwhelmed this season despite closing in on the NFC South title and a first round home playoff game next month.


Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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