Saints coach Sean Payton signed a 5-year contract extension that will run through the 2017 season.
The team announced the extension but didn’t release financial details of the agreement. Payton had agreed to the deal in principle on December 29.
”Sean has been a critical part of our success, getting him signed to a long-term deal is very important to our organization and we are happy to have it finalized,” Saints GM Mickey Loomis said in statement released by the team. ”We have just started the process of planning for the 2013 season, turning the page on 2012. We have challenges ahead, but they’re nothing we cannot overcome. I know Sean is ready to get back to football in 2013.”
Payton has guided the most renowned period in the franchise’s history, leading the Saints to 3 NFC South division titles and 4 postseason appearances. Two of his teams advanced to the NFC Championship and the 2009 squad won Super Bowl XLIV.
Payton, who was suspended for the whole 2012 season in connection with the NFL’s bounty investigation, can return to work February 4, the day following the Super Bowl.
”I am excited that we have finalized this contract with Sean,” Saints owner Tom Benson recounted in the release. ”He and Mickey have built a foundation of success as they have built the roster. We have already begun preparations for the 2013 season.”
Payton signed an extension in 2011 worth a lot more than $6 million a year that would have kept him in New Orleans thru 2015, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell objected to certain language in that deal, leaving Payton’s future uncertain until an agreement was reached in principle. The language in question in the previous extension gave Payton a right to opt out early if Loomis left the club for any reason.
Payton is the only coach in Saints history to win a Super Bowl. But his legacy was tarnished by the NFL’s bounty probe, as Goodell ruled that Payton did not apply proper institutional control over a cash-for-hits bounty program run by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from 2009-2011. Basketball scores
Although the New Orleans Saints objected to the characterization of what coaches and players have said was nothing more than a performance pool for big plays, Goodell suspended Payton for the whole season. The commissioner also suspended Loomis for half the season and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for 6 games.
Payton is 62-34 in regular-season games as Saints coach and 5-3 in the postseason. In the 3 seasons before his suspension, the New Orleans Saints won 41 regular-season and playoff games combined, more than any other team in the NFL.
Payton has primarily handled the offense in New Orleans, getting together with QB Drew Brees to break countless NFL and club records.
Although speculating ran rampant that Payton could fundamentally become a free agent after this season and finish up some place else, Brees regularly stated that he would be ‘’shocked” if Payton ended up anywhere except New Orleans next season. Brees is under contract with the Saints through the 2016 season, and Payton was the driver in the Saints’ effort to get Brees as a free agent in 2006.