Brees confident Payton will be back with Saints

IRVING, Texas — Sean Payton, Drew Brees’ coach in New Orleans from 2006-2011, is residing in North Texas as he serves a season-long suspension for his involvement in the Saints’ bounty scandal. Payton, who could be free to sign with any team in the offseason, has said he plans to remain with the Saints.

But that hasn’t stopped some from speculating that the Cowboys could be interested in Payton if Jason Garrett is fired at the end of the year, a scenario that seems highly unlikely.

Brees said Wednesday that he isn’t worried about Payton coaching any team other than the Saints next season.

“I really haven’t worried about that,” Brees said. “It seems like there’s been enough going on here for us to focus on, and I’ve really tried not to think about that. I’m very confident Sean will be back here in New Orleans.”

Brees later said: “Honestly, I think everybody’s probably making a much bigger deal of this than it needs to be. . . . Does it give me even more motivation that I know Coach Payton is less than 20 miles away, watching the game on TV, as opposed to a couple-hundred miles away? No, I guess it doesn’t really make a difference to us. He’s always with us, even though we haven’t been able to talk and communicate with him.”