Is Sean Payton seriously interested in coaching the Arizona Cardinals?
By Sion Fawkes
If Michael Bidwill mans up and fires his head coach and general manager, Sean Payton may be coaching the Arizona Cardinals in 2023.
The Sean Payton watch has officially begun for the Arizona Cardinals, and he could act as a new hope for a franchise that general manager Steve Keim and head coach Kliff Kingsbury have managed to decimate just months after signing contract extensions. And if Payton is interested in talking with Michael Bidwill about the job, then Bidwill needs to do the right thing: Fire Kliff. Fire Keim. And don’t let Sean leave the desert without a contract.
While Payton won’t come unless he has full control, he is also the kind of coach I’d want to see on the Cardinals sideline to rejuvenate arguably the most star-crossed franchise in North American professional sports. Which, of course, is why I pull for the Cardinals in the first place, much in the same way I pull for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.
But let’s get back to the key issue: Where, Sion, did you hear Sean Payton has interest in the Cardinals? Here you go:
Okay, great! One tweet and you’re already claiming Payton has genuine interest in the Cardinals? Well, Bleacher Report also had something to say on the subject. And so did Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News.
Bold Prediction: Sean Payton will be the Arizona Cardinals head coach in 2023
I say bold prediction, because with Kliff’s and Keim’s extensions, that alone may entice Bidwill to hang onto the duo. But given the way they wrecked what should have been at least a playoff contender, and with many outlets listing Payton as a top candidate to replace Kingsbury in 2023, there is a growing chance that Payton will be on the Cardinals sideline.
And he would be a perfect fit. You all know that I am no fan of Kyler Murray’s, given his on-field antics and lack of commitment. However, I will say that Murray deserves a mulligan here if Payton comes to town.
Why? I think you know the answer. Payton once worked with a short quarterback that had the skill-set, yet was a relative underachiever during the first five seasons of his career. Didn’t matter to Payton, as he brought Drew Brees into the fold and won a Super Bowl. Brees will be enshrined in Canton and will headline the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2026.
So yeah, if Payton comes along, I’ll also rescind my endorsement to trade DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason while his value is still high. With Payton in charge, the Cardinals wouldn’t need a complete rebuild. The guy has enough credentials that even the most seasoned veterans would follow his every whim.
At which point, Payton would simply improve the roster, make it beyond playoff-caliber, and immediately contend for a Lombardi with Kyler Murray leading the way. He’s done it before, and he will do it again. And since it’s all but been implied that Payton has genuine interest in the Arizona Cardinals, this is an opportunity Bidwill just cannot mess up.
Want your voice heard? Join the Raising Zona team!