Confirmation by Football Commissioner Goodell on Sunday that Sean Payton’s new contract was voided by the NFL, and his impending free agency next year, becomes another proverbial mountain the Saints and their upper management will have to climb this tremulous season. As you know by now, the primary reason the contract was voided was due to a clause that states the contract will become void if Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis is no longer with the team for any reason. The possibility of Sean leaving for another team, and to the pretentious Dallas Cowboys in particular, is beyond unthinkable.
It only makes sense that if Sean Payton doesn’t return to NOLA next year that he will go to the Dallas Cowboys. His three children are in Dallas, he was an assistant coach with the Cowboys previously and still has a good relationship with Jerry Jones, and the Cowboys under Head Coach Jason Garrett has consistently underperformed over the past two years. So the speculation has begun what will happen at the end of the season and all of us Saints fans are being tormented again for a new reason.
Analyzing the decision, the Roger Goodell and the NFL can’t allow coaches and players to dictate the terms of how a professional team is managed, the employees it hires or fires, or financial matters. These are rights reserved for the team owners and their hired leadership teams. It’s their job to manage the organization, the player’s job to play, and the coaches’ job to coach. It’s been that way since the beginning of sports time and should continue to be so into eternity. And as Commissioner Goodell said, it sets a bad precedent. In fact, it might set a bad precedent for all amateur and professional sports.
On the other hand, this is modern America where our freedoms are endless and the worst a person can do is ask for something. Therefore, a coach or player has the freedom to write pretty much anything into a contract. And the worst that can happen is the organization says “No”. Then, the negotiation continues. So, the Saints management has the freedom to choose whether they want to accept the terms of the contract or not. It appears that Sean was just trying to ensure that he has a leader with whom he’s had success with in turning around the Saints remain in the organization to ensure future success. This was a logical and in genius move. I’d most likely make the same contract request if I was in his situation.
Currently the NFL is waiting on a revised contract to be submitted to the league office so they can review it again. Let pray to the Saints on behalf of the Saints.
If a new revised contract isn’t agreed upon and Sean Payton doesn’t return, the Commissioner wins and the Saints lose. No matter who would coach the Saints, they won’t be the team as they were under Sean. I believe it would take a year or so to get the chemistry back that they’ve had over the past six years. In the interim, the Saints could lose an opportunity to win another Super Bowl in February 2014.
If a new revised contract is signed and approved the Saints would win. They’d get their coach back again, and most likely with a chip on his shoulder. The chip coupled with his coaching staff returning and all the offensive talent on the team (and maybe some new defensive players in the off-season) the Saints should be a better and more consistent team. Who knows, maybe even a Super Bowl contender next year?
The winner would take it all; with the “all” being the Saints 2013 season.
While I don’t have a feel yet as to what I think will eventually happen with Sean Payton, there is one thing I do know for sure….Saints fans don’t need another reason to dislike the Dallas Cowboys even more!
By Marc Gonick
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