The New Orleans Saints and suspended head coach Sean Payton avoided any drama leading into the offseason by agreeing in principle to a five-year deal, according to multiple reports.
Payton's contract was due to expire at the end of the season and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rejected a contract extension agreed to in November because it contained a clause that would allow Payton to leave if general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended or left the Saints. The current agreement still must pass league approval, according to reports.
Payton is serving a one-year suspension for his role in the Saints' "Bountygate" scandal, and there had been rumors that he would be a potential candidate to coach the Dallas Cowboys should Jason Garrett not be retained. Payton worked on the Cowboys' staff under former head coach Bill Parcells and moved his family back to the Dallas area. However, Garrett's job is believed to be safe.