The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a top landing spot for a former Super Bowl-winning coach, according to one analyst.
According to Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports, the Buccaneers are a potential landing spot for Sean Payton. Benjamin explains that Tom Brady’s influence — especially if he considers a return in 2023 — could lead to Tampa Bay acquiring the 58-year-old as their next head coach.
“Bruce Arians apparently resigned in order to leave Todd Bowles with a solid setup for his second try as a head coach,” says Benjamin. “So it’d be odd if Tampa Bay axes its internal promotion after just one year. But Tom Brady plays a huge role here, and considering he has the power to test free agency again in 2023, his input may well dictate their moves up top. And remember, both Brady and Payton have danced around rumors they were set to join forces with the Dolphins after their separate “retirements.” It’s not hard to envision Brady returning again if it means crafting an offense with Payton, who could help TB12 conquer his Saints demons.”
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Payton Looking to Return to Coaching
Payton has already opened up on his desire to return to head coaching just months after walking away from the New Orleans Saints job. The 58-year-old head coach commented on returning to coaching in the future.
“Ultimately, do I think I’ll get back in? Sure,” Payton told USA TODAY. “There’s no way to predict who that club might be,” he said. “Usually, there are about six openings every year. If there’s a right fit somewhere, that ultimately will depend on several factors.”
With Payton under contract through the 2024 season with the Saints, a team will have to acquire his rights via trade in order to employ him. Before one assumes the Saints would never trade their legendary head coach to a division rival, it’s not unheard of for it to happen. The New York Jets once traded Bill Belichick to the New England Patriots for a first-round draft pick back in 2000 when he decided to take the Patriots head coaching job over the Jets one.
Considering the Saints already have their new head coach in Dennis Allen combined with the fact that Payton has already bid the franchise farewell, New Orleans likely wouldn’t hesitate in trading Payton’s rights in exchange for draft capital.
Would Buccaneers Move Away From Bowles?
The question is, would the Buccaneers move away from Todd Bowles after just one season on the job?
If Tampa Bay wins the Super Bowl or advances deep into the postseason, it would be hard to imagine the Buccaneers moving off of Bowles, especially considering he was Bruce Arians’ hand-picked successor upon his retirement.
But if the Buccaneers somehow come up short of expectations and Brady only returns for another season if Payton is acquired, then the idea becomes a possibility.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the three teams that currently interest Payton are the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys. However, if the Buccaneers’ head coaching vacancy opens up with the opportunity to coach Brady for his last season, Tampa Bay would immediately emerge as a potential destination for Payton.