Updated 1:24 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 4
The NFL voided the contract extension Saints head coach Sean Payton received in September 2011, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Payton would be a free agent after this season. He is suspended for the year for his role in the Saints’ bounty program, which was run from 2009-11.
Per Schefter, there was a clause in Payton’s contract that would have “enabled Payton to walk away from the deal if GM Mickey Loomis was suspended, fired or left the New Orleans organization.” The league took issue with this kind of language, as it didn’t want to set a precedent for other coaching contracts.
Loomis was suspended for the first eight games of this season because of the bounty scandal, and the discussions about Payton’s contract occurred before Loomis’ suspension, but the issue was never resolved.
The NFL released the following statement, via NFL Network's Albert Breer: "Our office has made no determination on Sean Payton's contract status with the Saints for next year. All contracts between clubs and their employees must be approved by the commissioner, and we do not comment on specific terms of individual contracts. Any comment regarding the matter should come from Coach Payton and the Saints."
Payton told Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, "I absolutely plan on being a New Orleans Saint. This is the franchise I helped rebuild from the ground up with Mickey Loomis, with the Benson family. I love working for the Benson family and with Mickey Loomis. Obviously that's why that stiuplation was in the contract."
The report indicates that while Saints owner Tom Benson could keep Payton in New Orleans, a potential job opening in Dallas could attract Payton, who was an assistant for the Cowboys from 2003-05 and he bought a house in Dallas last year.