Vikings Rival Reportedly Wants Absurd Money

He’s had some tremendous luck — and very dark moments — against the Minnesota Vikings, but former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is evidently ready to return to the sport after a year off.

And in doing so, Payton is reportedly calling for an absurd satchel of cash.

Vikings Rival Reportedly Wants Absurd Money

Columnist Jeff Duncan from The Times-Picayune/ reported this week, “Payton is believed to be asking for a contract that would make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL. Two sources said he is seeking a four-year deal that would pay him between $20 million and $25 million.”

Vikings Rival Reportedly Wants
Jan 2, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton on the sidelines in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports.

Payton coached the Saints from 2006 to 2021, tabulating a 152-89 (.631) win-loss record in 15 seasons. The .631 win percentage is in line with NFL coaches like Mike Tomlin (.636) and Bruce Arians (.624). New Orleans won a Super Bowl in 2009 after infamously knocking off the Vikings in the NFC Championship. Three years later, Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season for his governing role in the ‘BountyGate’ scandal, where Saints coaches paid players to injure Vikings quarterback Brett Favre during the NFC title game.

Payton never returned to the Super Bowl, at least not yet.

Duncan elaborated on Payton’s asking price,” [General Manager Mickey} Loomis’ stance is if a team is willing to pay Payton a deal worth roughly half that of a franchise quarterback, then the draft pick compensation should be of equivalent value.”

Apr 28, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks at his phone on a time out during the first half of game six of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

And according to Duncan, the Saints are “seeking compensation similar to what the Oakland Raiders received from Tampa Bay in exchange for Jon Gruden in 2002, with two first-round draft picks being the starting point. If future first-round picks are part of the offer, then they would have to be supplemented by higher picks this season.”

After the year off, Payton has interviewed with the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos thus far amid the annual NFL coaching carousel. The Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, and Indianapolis Colts also have head coach vacancies. On paper, given his offense-first background, Payton would seem to fit wonderfully with the Cardinals.

Jan 25, 2022; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton speaks during a press conference at Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports.

By trade, NFL coaching salaries are kept mysterious, and it is rare for the compensation to be leaked publicly. In that vein, it is unclear how outlandish, if at all, Payton’s $20-$25 million asking price might be.

Payton worked with Fox NFL Sunday this season as a commentator and analyst.

His Saints won the NFC South four consecutive times from 2017 to 2020. The Vikings knocked his club out of the postseason in 2017 and 2019 — the last two Vikings playoff wins to date.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).