Report: Drew Brees and Sean Payton May Be Reunited Soon
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton retired earlier this month after leading the team for the last 16 years. His retirement came only one year after Drew Brees hung up his cleats (although Payton tried to convince Brees to come out of retirement during the 2021 season).
Now, after a season apart, reports suggest Payton and Brees may be reunited again during the 2022 season.
No, they won't be joining forces with another team in the National Football League. Media reporters say there is a chance the two will be working together in one of the NFL's broadcast booths.
This all comes on the heels of the news that Troy Aikman is leaving Fox after spending the last 20 years with that network. As we reported last night, Aikman is on the verge jumping to ESPN's Monday Night Football. Now, Fox is looking for Aikman's successor.
According to Pro Football Focus's Ari Meirov, Fox could stay in-house and go with former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, who has proven himself to be an astute and articulate color analyst since joining Fox last year. Meirov also says Fox is considering options outside the network, including the former Saints signal caller and coach.
You might be thinking: How can a network make a trade for a broadcaster? It's happened before. In fact, it's how Al Michaels landed at NBC.
When the Peacock Network landed the rights to Sunday Night Football in 2006, they traded the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to ABC in exchange for Michaels's contract. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was Walt Disney's first cartoon creation. Disney created Oswald for Universal, who retained the rights to the character. In order to get the rights to Michaels's talents, NBCUniversal traded the Oswald character and the Oswald catalogue of movies to Disney-owned ABC.
Fox holds a property that NBC is reportedly interested in acquiring. According to various reports, NBC is one of several entities seeking to buy WWE. NBC already has the rights to the distribute the WWE Network, and they would jump at the opportunity to acquire the broadcast rights to WWE SmackDown!, which currently airs on Friday nights on Fox. If Fox traded the rights to SmackDown! to NBC in exchange for Drew Brees's contract, it would unify WWE's programming with in the NBCUniversal family of networks for the first time since 2018.
Still, even if a trade of this sort happens, there would be no guarantee that Brees and Payton would work together in the Fox broadcast booth. Still, Saints fans can dream that the team's all-time greatest coach and all-time greatest quarterback will be reunited on Sunday afternoons to talk football on television.