Payton says he never considered leaving Saints

Saints coach Sean Payton, reinstated Tuesday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after his year-long suspension for his alleged role in a bounty scheme, said in his first public comments that he never considered leaving the Saints for another team.

The Cowboys were rumored to be interested in the coach, who has since signed a contract extension with New Orleans.

Sean Payton on flirting (or not) with the Cowboys: “There was no way I was going to another team.”

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 23, 2013

Payton also said not being able to communicate with people connected to the Saints organization was difficult, reports ProFootballTalk.

“I think the hardest part, though, was not football,” Payton said. “The hardest part was so many of these people we’re talking about — (general manager) Mickey Loomis, Mr. Benson, a number of the players — you’re used to talking to them in a regular basis. So the difficult part for me was not having the personal interaction. Not necessarily football related, but just as you would as a friend. That was what I found to be more difficult than football.”

The Saints struggled without Payton, finishing 7-9. The Saints finished with a better record than that in five of Payton’s six years at the helm. In 2011, New Orleans went 13-3.

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