Ben Maller: “Sean Payton got one season of life without Drew Brees and that was enough to burn the man out on coaching the Saints. It gave him dizziness, nausea, and confusion watching the stumblebums play quarterback in New Orleans last season. Sean Payton’s reputation was as an offensive prodigy and then it started to erode. The offense was being sullied and many were starting to whisper that Payton without Drew Brees had been exposed as a FRAUD. The Saints offensively ranked 28th in total offense out of 32 teams. They were the epitome of GARBAGE at matriculating the ball down the field. If you look at the salary cap and the rotting roster, you do the math and Payton was like ‘wait a minute, people are starting to question my genius??’ It’s kind of like the arsonist who starts the fire and runs out of the building saying they have no idea what happened. You gotta be one step ahead of the implosion. When the going got tough Sean Payton high-tailed it out of town. He’s getting a pass on this which is bizarre. We know he lost his knapsack filled with stardust when Drew Brees left, but from what we’re hearing, Sean Payton put out feelers to get a pulse on Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson coming to eat gumbo and crawfish in Louisiana, and apparently he didn’t get a favorable response, so Payton made a strategic decision to gain a competitive advantage for him individually. Instead of waiting for the Saints to go 6-11 or 5-12, he said he doesn’t want to be here when this thing falls back to bedrock and they’ve gotta call in the paramedics. He didn’t wanna be a part of that and activated the escape hatch.” (Full Audio Above)
Listen to Ben Maller discuss Sean Payton’s New Orleans exodus and why he believes Payton quit on the Saints in the wake of Drew Brees’ retirement, and with the possibility of an Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson move down South unlikely.
The Saints went 9-8 and swept the 13-4 Tampa Bay Bucs in the NFC South, but the offense struggled to put up points the same way they did with Brees. Once Jameis Winston tore his ACL in Week 8 it was going to be a huge uphill battle for an offense that had arguably the weakest receiving corps in the league.
With New Orleans having no clear picture at quarterback for next season with Winston hitting free agency and the team only holding the no. 18 overall pick in the Draft, the Saints could be looking at a tumultuous 2022 season, with a roster still in salary cap hell.
Check out the audio above as Maller details why Payton effectively bolted out of a burning building that he was responsible for starting.