NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported today that New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton will remain with the team. Shortly after Rapoport’s tweet, Payton held a press conference in which he proudly declared his affinity for New Orleans and the Saints:
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 6, 2016
Since Payton joined the Saints for the 2006 season, New Orleans has the sixth-best winning percentage (and sixth-most overall wins) between the regular season and postseason. Payton is one of the longest-tenured coaches in the league, tied with Mike McCarthy (hired by the Green Bay Packers in 2006), and trailing only Marvin Lewis (hired by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003) and Bill Belichick (hired by the New England Patriots in 2000).
The Saints have finished 7-9 in three of the last four seasons, including 2012, the season that Payton was suspending for his involvement in the “Bountygate” scandal. Across those seasons, the Saints have finished no lower than fourth overall in total offensive yards — assembling a talented defense remains a huge obstacle for the club.
New Orleans has one of the worst upcoming cap situations in the entire league. Entering this offseason, the Saints are already above the salary cap, due in large part to the $30 million cap hit owed to quarterback Drew Brees.