The interesting timing for the leak that Sean Payton’s contract with the New Orleans Saints has been voiced creates a whole host of storylines.
Presumably, Payton’s camp can use the fact that he could be a free agent in three months to extract the terms they want from the New Orleans Saints to stay. Right? Even with the black cloud of a full-season suspension hanging over Payton, he wouldn’t be a free agent for very long with deep-pocketed owners lining up to hire him. Payton can blame the bounty scandal on defensive coordinator Gregg Williams or choose to claim it never happened like the players have tried.
Speculation has already started that Payton could be a fit for a pair of NFC East teams – the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, he was an assistant under Bill Parcells with the Cowboys previously.
The news isn’t lost on Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, who was asked Monday if he was aware Payton’s contract had been voided and he will be eligible to be a free agent after the Super Bowl, when his suspension ends.
“We’re just focused on what we need to do today,” Garrett said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “We need to clean up what happened in that game yesterday, build on some of the good and correct the bad and get ready for the Eagles. That’s where our focus is. We’re focused on being our best day-to-day, week-to-week, and this week is going to be a great challenge, going up to Philadelphia.
“There’s a lot of stories that circulate around our game. Certainly, some people bring those kinds of things to my attention. But again, we’re focused on what we need to do. We had a heck of a challenge last night in Atlanta, trying to go play an undefeated team. That’s where our attention was.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune