According to NFL Media Insider Ian Shittstirrer, the NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons, who have fallen to 1-3 against the Black and Gold over the last two years, are highly interested in obtaining the services of coach Sean Payton.
Rumor has it the Falcons are willing to pay Payton an “extremely large” sum of money to permanently leave the NFL after the 2018 season concludes or, more preferably, before this season’s Super Bowl is hosted at the still-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Shittstirrer says sources tell him that although Payton is under contract with the Saints through 2020, the Falcons are used to making desperate moves that don’t pan out. This specific move comes in response to the team’s recent embarrassing loss to the Saints on Thursday Night Football where they fell 31-17. The Falcons, who were harassed by the Saints defense all night, committed four costly turnovers including three fumbles in the red zone two of which occurred within the 3-yard line.
Falcons owner and Pepsi version of Walt Disney Arthur Blank confronted coach Dan Quinn immediately after the loss, frustrated the Falcons have been on a downward spiral ever since blowing a lead 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI.
“Blank no longer wants the headache of dealing with Payton,” Shittstirrer said. “And Quinn especially knows how much consistently losing to Payton affected former coach Mike Smith, both psychologically and in the loss column, and he wants him gone as soon as possible to avoid the same fate.”
Quinn is 3-5 against the Saints since taking the helm of the Falcons in 2015.
“Mike would have panic attacks whenever someone merely mentioned Payton’s name, and it ultimately led to his firing. Franchise owner Arthur Blank is reportedly willing to ‘break the bank’ to make it happen, especially if it keeps the Saints from returning to Atlanta in February, so we’ll see.”
While the Falcons reportedly will go hard after Payton, the Dirty Birds will have to get in line as the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Carolina Panthers have all also indicated interest in paying Payton off.