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Former Saints coach Sean Payton sounds like he’s itching to get back into the NFL. And if a certain quarterback enters free agency, that could entice Payton to scratch the itch and return to an NFL sideline next fall.
That signal caller is Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, who led the Ravens to a 27-13 over Payton’s former club on Monday Night Football.
During the game, Payton joined Peyton and Eli Manning as part of ESPN2’s Manningcast broadcast. A few minutes into the fourth quarter Peyton Manning reminded Sean Payton that he had a lot of high praise for Jackson prior to the 2018 NFL Draft.
And that’s when Payton began to entertain the idea of calling plays for Jackson.
“The number one thing is I have the chance to be a free agent. He has a chance to be a free agent. I would say that first,” a smiling Payton said, when asked what stands out about Lamar Jackson.
Jackson Was Named NFL MVP In 2019
Payton was of course teasing the idea of Jackson becoming a free agent since the Ravens and their QB failed to agree to a contract extension this summer. Jackson is said to be seeking at-least as much guaranteed money as the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson ($230 million).
“But on a serious note, I think we’ve seen him get the ball down the field … man, he’s explosive,” added Payton. “I think he’s become a better down-the-field thrower … the late nights that this guy … he drives you crazy trying to come up with a defensive scheme to plan for.”
It’s hard to argue Sean Payton’s thinking. In addition to a passing touchdown, Jackson used his legs to rush for 82 yards on Monday night. He did so on just 11 carries. In addition to his 10 passing touchdowns and 1,768 passing yards, Jackson’s added 635 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Will Sean Payton Be Back?
Sean Payton’s comments on Lamar Jackson were just the latest sign that he’ll soon be back on the sidelines. Before the Saints hosted the Buccaneers in mid-September, Payton told media members: “…I miss this matchup. And this is one of the first days I feel different not coaching.”
Depending which way Lamar Jackson’s pending free agency goes, Payton may not feel that way for long.
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