Could 2017 be Sean Payton's final season patrolling the sidelines as New Orleans's head coach? If the Saints miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season, it is entirely possible that Payton will be sent packing, even with a contract that runs through the 2020 season. In a "what have you done for me lately?" league, Payton has failed to reach the postseason for three straight years.
While franchise quarterback Drew Brees continues to churn out record-setting seasons, frustrated Black and Gold fans believe Payton has squandered the last few years of the future Hall of Famer's career rebuilding an abysmal defense and playing coordinator-roulette.
Payton raised the expectations of Saints fans during his tenure, elevating the franchise to previously unimaginable heights. The lofty standards he has set for himself and the Saints may eventually be his undoing. The Who Dat Nation has grown accustomed to winning since Payton and Brees arrived in 2006, and nobody wants to return to the paper-bag-wearing days of the 'Aints.
Illustration by Ron Domingue