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Payton had no thoughts of leaving Saints

The SportsXchange

New Orleans coach Sean Payton never considered leaving the Saints for another team during his suspension from the NFL, he said Wednesday.

Payton served his time and has returned from his yearlong exile as a result of the bounty case against the Saints. He was interviewed extensively for the first time in a year in Mobile, Ala., where he was watching players in the Senior Bowl

There were rumors that Payton might leave New Orleans after his contract was voided by the NFL in November.

"There was no way I was going to another team," Payton said. "The issue was a minor technicality. There was a clause [in the contract] that wasn't approved."

Payton said speculation about coaches is part of the business.

"Every year a third of this league is turning over," Payton said. "Seven or eight [teams] and it seems to be new news and yet the next year it'll be seven or eight and the year after that."

Payton avoided saying whether he considered his suspension fair.

"It was more or less something you can't control. The first week or so, it was difficult," Payton said. "You felt a lot different emotions. At that point, you have to move on from it. Regardless of how you felt, knowing there were eight months. You'd drive yourself crazy if you just continue to hold those thoughts, whether you thought it was fair or not."

Without Payton at the helm, the Saints finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs this season.
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