Annual rumor mill has Sean Payton moving on

They are New Orleans Christmas traditions: Mr. Bingle and rumors involving the coaching future of Sean Payton.
Where is Payton supposedly headed next? The Rams? Really?
I have a hard time believing Payton would rather work for Stan Kroenke than for Tom and Gayle Benson.
“When I was with the Rams, we were told not to speak to Stan Kroenke,” said former Rams defensive back Janoris Jenkins.
Since winning 12 games in 2003, the St. Louis Rams have had four seasons of three or fewer wins. This year, Kroenke, a Columbia, Missouri, native, moved the Rams back to Los Angeles, touching off a massive celebration.
The party is over. Empty seats are everywhere in the Los Angeles Coliseum. And, eight days after news leaked of his two-year contract extension, head coach Jeff Fisher was fired.
Fisher was unhappy that news of his extension was leaked by the Rams.
He told the NFL on Fox, “It was never my place to announce the extension, so somehow it got out,” Fisher said. “Then that became an issue. None of it was handled appropriately, in my opinion. In this day and age, the successful teams in the NFL are tight-knit. They work together, and they stay quiet. They don’t leak things. And that was a frustration of mine.”
If the Bears fire head coach John Fox, Payton could reunite with current Bears general manager and former Saints personnel chief Ryan Pace. That’s if Pace himself survives. The day after a last-second loss to the Packers, the Chicago Tribune noted that Bears chairman George McCaskey has presided over four different general manager/head coach combinations in the last five seasons.
Would Payton rather work for the McCaskeys or for the Bensons?
Great situations for a head coach in the NFL are difficult to find, much more difficult to replicate. That’s why there’s only a handful out there.
Let’s see: There’s New England, Pittsburgh and Seattle. All three teams lead their division. Baltimore might be one of those places. When the Ravens won five games last season, ownership retained head coach John Harbaugh, and this season, Baltimore is back in playoff contention.
When I was a child, my mother would take me down to Canal Street to do Christmas shopping. We would look into the windows to see all the shiny new items. Years later, I cannot recall one item that was in those windows.
But, I sure do remember Mr. Bingle. In the newsroom one day, I was singing that famous tune: “Jingle, jangle, jingle, here comes Mr. Bingle.” Needless to say, the millennials in our newsroom looked at me with this strange gaze.
This offseason, Payton may be looking in those windows again. And, if he does, it will be daunting to recreate what he has in the town that he shares with Mr. Bingle.
Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at

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