Mickey Loomis says Saints won’t allow lateral moves to Sean Payton’s next staff

One worry of Sean Payton taking over a new team is how many important pieces of the New Orleans Saints’ operation he might take with him. Whether that’s assistant coaches or personnel executives in the front office, there are plenty of people in the organization who Payton would probably like to take with him.

But don’t expect the Saints to make that easy for him. General manager Mickey Loomis addressed the topic during his end-of-season press conference on Friday in response to a question from NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill, saying that lateral moves are off the table.

“Well our guys are under contract, so the only guys who could actually move without our permission are guys who are being promoted into coordinator positions. It’s not really a real ‘need’ (to address that). I’m sure if there was somebody they really wanted he would call and ask, and we would probably say no,” Loomis grinned.

That was the case a few years ago when longtime front office executive Terry Fontenot left for the Atlanta Falcons GM opening, and he tried to bring football administration vice president Khai Harley with him. The Saints wouldn’t allow that, and Harley has continued to play a big part in their day-to-day operations while crafting creative salary cap strategies.

So they wouldn’t, for example, let Harley or college scouting director and assistant GM Jeff Ireland leave to join Payton in that same capacity. He would have to be promoted to general manager for Payton’s new squad in order to get out of his contract with New Orleans. That’s significant given two of the three teams interviewing Payton soon already have their general managers working in the building (the Denver Broncos’ George Paton and the Houston Texans’ Nick Caserio). The only place he could offer a front office executive a promotion is the Arizona Cardinals.

Things are a little trickier for assistant coaches. If they have an opportunity to advance their career in a bigger role on Payton’s staff, Loomis says the Saints won’t stand in their way. He conceded, “I think that is, those guys would have the right to move to a coordinator position, if it’s a play caller position.”

So if an assistant on the rise in New Orleans like passing game coordinator Ronald Curry was offered the offensive coordinator job with Payton’s new team, he wouldn’t face much resistance in taking Payton up on that offer. Of course the Saints could circumvent this by naming Curry their own play caller on offense, but at this point they haven’t even tweaked their own coaching staff. Loomis added that those evaluations and considerations will begin next week. That’s the same time Payton will begin interviewing with other teams, so this new information from Loomis might soon become very pertinent.

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3 trade proposals for each of the teams planning to interview Sean Payton

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire