Tom Brady hosted former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton for a lengthy December 5, 2022 podcast interview, and the two left the door open for potentially teaming up in the future, a reality that is unlikely to happen on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady’s co-host Jim Gray noted that Payton and Brady are unlikely to team up at Fox with rumors swirling that he could return to coaching in 2023. Payton was quick to note that the two could team up on the football field together.
“Who says Tommy’s coming to Fox right away?” Payton said of Brady’s future during an interview on the “Let’s Go!” podcast. “I know this is his podcast, but clearly we don’t want to get another team in trouble.”
Payton was making light of the NFL’s tampering investigation that came down hard on the Dolphins for trying to lure Payton and Brady to Miami while both individuals were under contract with other teams. Brady refused to rule out potentially being coached by Payton in the future.
“You never know what happens in the NFL, so,” Brady responded. “Who knows? I thought I was retired, I wasn’t. Who knows? You never know what the future looks like.”
The Bucs Are Unlikely to Be Contenders to Land Payton
If Brady desires to join forces with Payton, it is unlikely to happen with the Buccaneers for two key reasons. Namely, the Bucs signed Todd Bowles to a five-year contract when the team named him as head coach last offseason, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Also, Payton is still under contract with the Saints, and a trade is likely going to need to be orchestrated for the coach to return to the sideline in 2023.
New Orleans is unlikely to trade Payton within the NFC South division, especially to a contender like the Bucs. Payton admitted that he is aiming to return to coaching “if not this year, hopefully next year.”
“I don’t like to see or look at coaches that are currently working and predict what jobs will be open,” Payton said. “Our league is kind of funny. There’s always a lot of turnover. It seems more and more now. An average of about six or seven teams a year [need new head coaches].
“So, we’ll kind of see what happens but sooner than later, Jim [Gray], in fairness to that question. I think that if not this year, hopefully next year. I’m still under contract by the Saints and my closest friend, period, is the GM of the Saints Mickey Loomis.”
The Saints Have Control Over Where They Will Trade Payton
When Payton finds the right situation, the longtime coach plans to have a discussion with Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. Payton hinted that the Saints are willing to work him to find a new destination, but that flexibility is unlikely to include the Bucs even if the team had an interest in the former rival coach.
“Fortunately, I can call Mickey and we can chat and we’ve discussed these things before,” Payton added. “We’ll play golf together. He’s someone who’s tremendous. Believe it or not, I would bounce ideas off of him and then knowing that it’s going involve him in the end anyway. It’s kind of funny.”