NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, January 6, 2016, 3:33 PM
So much for the dream successor to Tom Coughlin.
Sean Payton is no longer a coaching option for the Giants. On Wednesday, Payton announced that he will remain the head coach of the New Orleans Saints, ending speculation that the Giants — and several other teams — would be able to engage in a bidding war for one of football’s most creative offensive minds.
“This is where I plan on coaching,” Payton said in a press conference in New Orleans. “And I don’t envision myself coaching for any other club.”
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The move was not a surprise. In many ways, Payton seemed like an ideal candidate for the Giants job. He had ties to the Giants organization, having served as offensive coordinator in East Rutherford from 2000-2002. He had a Super Bowl title (in 2009) on his resume, yet he would have arrived with something to prove after missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Those were all things Giants co-owner John Mara had mentioned he wanted in a head coach.
Yet Payton always seemed a longshot, because there were few guarantees that he’d leave New Orleans. And even if he agreed to leave, prying him from the Saints wouldn’t have been easy; he has two seasons remaining on his current contract, and any team interested in him would have had to trade with New Orleans, likely giving up a high draft pick.
Giants owner John Mara had not ruled out surrendering a draft pick for the right coach in his end-of-year press conference on Tuesday. But Payton did not believe any team would be able to meet the Saints’ asking price, anyway.
“I know Mickey (Saints GM Mickey Loomis) is too smart, and I know no one’s giving up the compensation that I’m sure he was thinking and researching,” Payton said.
He added that he has no plans to leave New Orleans in the future, either.
“Nothing’s changing,” Payton said. “And I plan on finishing my career here. I’ll be here as long as they’ll have me.”
The Giants must thus continue searching for a replacement for Coughlin, who stepped down on Monday after a second straight 6-10 season, elsewhere. They’ve already interviewed offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who worked under Payton in 2012. Several other candidates are also scheduled to interview for the Giants’ head coaching vacancy as well.