BOCA RATON – In the middle of a press conference on Wednesday at the NFL Owners Meetings, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton dropped a news bomb – he has agreed to a new five-year contract.
No, the scoop wasn’t broken by some high-powered NFL insider on ESPN or Fox. Payton broke the news himself, in a matter-of-fact fashion.
“The contract is right here in this briefcase,” Payton told reporters assembled around a table at a media breakfast at the Boca Raton Hotel and Resort.
The extension is worth around $45 million, a source told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Payton, who has coached the Saints—save for his Bounty-gate suspension—since 2006, said he wants to finish his coaching career in New Orleans.
The contract has been in the works since January.
“I think it was a formality since that last week of the regular season,” Payton said. “In other words, it would get done. Actually, I don’t know why it’s in the briefcase and why it’s here.”
There were myriad rumors that 2015 might have been Payton’s last year in New Orleans. He’s happy to put that speculation to rest and stay put.
“That stability, I don’t take for granted and very much appreciate the opportunities we have to coach and to work with players and to work within the framework of a good group, good organization and we are all fortunate to be doing something we love,” Payton said. “Another five years means a lot, that stability.”
The Saints are 87-57 under Payton, and he led them to their only Super Bowl title in 2009.