Buccaneers’ “Logical Landing Spot” For Sean Payton In 2023

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From the moment Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians stepped down and passed the torch to Todd Bowles, people were skeptical. Bowles had been a head coach twice in his career and neither went that well.

Bowles went 24-40 as Jets head coach, and 2-1 as interim head coach in Miami as well. Now, after inheriting a team loaded with talent he’s 8-8 with one game left in the regular season. Not bad, but definitely not what was expected from a team led by Tom Brady. Yes, the Buccaneers have clinched the division title, in arguably the worst division in football, but still.

Flat Team

The team has looked flat several times this year. Especially the offense that went from 30.1 points per game under Arians, to 18.5 per game under Bowles. That’s a problem, one that can only be laid at the feet of Bowles.

To be fair to Bowles, the team has suffered an extensive amount of injuries and appears to be headed in the right direction. But to say this team’s performance has been underwhelming is an understatement.

This all obviously opens the debate of whether the team’s owners will stick with Bowles after this season. If the Glazers decide to shop around the head coaching market, there’s several names that make sense. But one name that should be at the top of the list is a name Bucs’ faithful are very familiar with.

“Logical Landing Spot”

Per Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports, the Buccaneers are the “logical landing spot” for former Saints’ coach Sean Payton.

“This scenario is predicated almost entirely on Tom Brady re-signing with Tampa Bay during or ahead of free agency. TB12 feels far more likely to retire or suit up elsewhere, but if the plodding, predictable direction of Todd Bowles and Byron Leftwich is discarded, and Brady has the chance to team up with Payton, as the two reportedly conspired to do early in the 2022 offseason, then Bucs ownership would surely do everything possible to seal the deal. Tampa won a trophy by going all in for Brady back in 2020, and pairing the QB with a coach of Payton’s caliber would represent a similar gamble in 2023.”

Payton & Brady

Payton and Brady’s names have been linked several times recently. The NFL determined that from August or 2019 to January or 2022, that the Miami Dolphins had impermissible contact with Payton and Brady. Fines were levied, punishment was handed out. Honestly, more of a slap on the wrist.

We must point out, that the Saints still own the rights to Payton, so compensation would have to be worked out. The price tag to aquire Payton’s rights is reportedly a first-round pick. Seems steep until you realize this most likely would mean retaining Brady, not to mention Payton is one of the best offensive coaches in the league.

Will the Buccaneers cut ties with Bowles? Would they consider going all-in again? Would Payton want to come to Tampa? Will New Orleans consider trading his rights to a division rival? Stay tuned, this offseason is going to be crazy.

Gambling Odds

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Falcons -4.0
Over/Under 40.5
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