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Report: Panthers are “eyeing” Sean Payton for 2023

Panthers GM Scott Fitterer sits down with Mike Florio to talk about drafting Ikem Ekwonu sixth overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, a Cam Newton reunion and whether Sam Darnold or Matt Corral will start at QB next season.

Former NFL head coach Sean Payton continues to loom as a future NFL head coach.

The Carolina Panthers reportedly are “eyeing” Payton for the team’s head-coaching job in 2023, according to Michael McCarthy of

That would be regarded as good news by Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys, since Payton is most commonly linked to the job McCarthy currently holds.

The Saints continue to hold Payton’s rights. Before another team could talk to him, the Saints and that team would have to strike a deal regarding potential compensation, if he would enter into a contract with the new team. The Saints could, if they so choose, flatly refuse to release Payton’s rights for a division rival.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Panthers issued a statement on the matter. “We would not talk to -- or consider -- a coach who’s under contract with another team,” the team said.

Current Panthers coach Matt Rhule may have preferred something more along the lines of, “We have a coach.”

Currently, they do. By 2023, who knows?

Before the draft, owner David Tepper pledged his “full support” to Rhule.

It’s not the first time Payton has been linked to another team. Earlier this year, the Dolphins admitted to contacting the Saints about hiring him, after he resigned to cap a 15-year run in New Orleans. Also, Playmakers details an incident that nearly resulted in the Cowboys hiring Payton in 2019, with a very unlikely twist keeping it from happening.

For 2022, Payton is expected to work in broadcasting. Via McCarthy, Payton recently told Morten Andersen that an announcement is coming in a matter of days. The finalists are Fox and Amazon.

By next year, the finalists to employ Payton could be NFL franchises.