Yet another team has bowed out of Sean Payton sweepstakes

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Count the Arizona Cardinals out of the Sean Payton sweepstakes after their latest moves.

With the Arizona Cardinals bringing in more candidates to interview, this suggests Sean Payton is out of the running to be their next head coach.

After the Cincinnati Bengals were eliminated from the postseason by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship, Arizona opted to bring in both of the Bengals’ star coordinators for interviews. That would be defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, who is also interviewing for the Indianapolis Colts’ head-coaching vacancy. Thus, Payton is out of the mix.

The expectation coming out of Arizona was the Cardinals were either going to hire Payton quickly into this week or open up the floor to a whole new wide array of candidates. Anarumo has a real shot at this, while Callahan is probably more likely to get the Colts gig if he were to be hired as a head coach in this offseason cycle. Odds are, he is one season away from getting his own team.

Here is what ESPN’s Adam Schefter said about the Cardinals’ decisions on The Pat McAfee Show.

Arizona Cardinals no longer a serious contender for Sean Payton as head coach

Even if the Cardinals do not go with Anarumo or Callahan, they have other viable candidates outside of Payton to consider. Schefter mentioned Brian Flores and Aaron Glenn as well. Flores is the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, but served on Mike Tomlin’s staff last year in Pittsburgh. Glenn has been Dan Campbell’s right-hand man every step of the way in Detroit, man.

Clearly, the Cardinals want to get this right every step of the way in their hiring process. They have been especially thorough. Keep in mind that they have a new general manager conducting the search as well in Monti Ossenfort coming over from the Tennessee Titans’ front office. He will want to find the right candidate to partner with during this next stage of his professional career.

Ultimately, it is really coming down to the Denver Broncos or nothing for Payton. Carolina hired former Colts head coach Frank Reich. The expectation is San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans will take over in Houston. Indianapolis has never been in on Payton. So that leaves us with only Denver remaining for him. Will he take the Broncos job or go back to TV?

Given that the job he really coveted was the Los Angeles Chargers, Payton may go back to FOX.

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