Pressure is on for the Arizona Cardinals to hire Sean Payton
By Jim Koch
The losing could very well continue for the Arizona Cardinals if Michael Bidwill fails to come to an agreement with Sean Payton.
Whether he realizes it or not, Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has been backed into a corner. The search for a new head coach continues, but only one viable candidate remains. At this point, it’s either Sean Payton or bust for a franchise that has never hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Over the past few days, two of Arizona’s top choices for the gig have been taken out of the running. Dan Quinn has once again decided that his job as the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys is his best option at the present time. This past Thursday, Frank Reich became the first head-coaching hire of the offseason when he accepted an offer from the Carolina Panthers.
Brian Flores is certainly the most accomplished of the individuals who are left if you take Payton out of the mix. As the head man of the Miami Dolphins, the defensive-minded coach was impressive in guiding the talent-starved squad to a pair of winning campaigns. The Dolphins went 10-6 under Flores in 2020, and posted a 9-8 record with him at the helm in 2021.
Options dwindle for Arizona Cardinals if Sean Payton is out of the mix
There’s a couple of red flags when it comes to the Cards hiring Flores, however. According to former NFL executive Mike Lombardi, the stern taskmaster reportedly told Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa:
"“If I knew you were going to be this bad, I would have picked (Patriots signal-caller) Mac Jones.” – via Mass Live"
If Flores was that way with the Dolphins passer, how exactly would he deal with the undesirable body-language and questionable study habits of Redbirds QB Kyler Murray?
There’s also a tiny nugget that many observers have chosen to ignore. It just so happens that the Cardinals are one of the teams mentioned in the anti-discrimination lawsuit that Flores filed against the league back in February of 2022. Why in the world would these two parties even consider the possibility of working together with that type of accusation hanging out there in plain sight for the world to see?
The quality in remaining candidates takes a huge dip when you take away Payton and Flores. Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has presided over one of pro football’s worst units over the past two seasons, and probably doesn’t even deserve a promotion. Ejiro Evero has done a fine job with a stacked Denver Broncos defense, but does Arizona really want to hand such an important position to a man who’s been a coordinator for one measly campaign?
In simplest terms, the Cards must convince Payton to come to the desert. When you examine it closely, there are no other options. Any future success for the franchise depends heavily on Bidwill’s ability to get Payton to sign on the dotted line sometime in the next few days.
Article Source: Brian Flores told Tua Tagovailoa he should have picked Patriots QB Mac Jones instead, per Michael Lombardi by Chris Mason
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