Payton told Pro Football Talk on Thursday that he is close to finalizing a new deal with the Saints. And Payton told the NFL Network that he anticipates a Brees extension will "get done very easily."
What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their arrival in New Orleans?
Payton is already among the highest-paid coaches in the NFL at slightly more than $8 million per year, and he has two years remaining on his contract. But a new deal could help cement the long-term commitment he expressed in January after months of speculation that he and the Saints might entertain offers from other teams.
Both Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis stopped short of admitting that they considered parting ways after the season. But ESPN reported that other teams expressed interest, and Payton held a unique hourlong postseason news conference attended by owners Tom and Gayle Benson, among others, while declaring his intention to stay.
"I know it appeared there was a looming decision. But I think this is really me saying again, 'Here I am, and nothing's changing,'" Payton said at the time. "This is where I plan on coaching. And I don't envision myself ever coaching for any other club."
Brees, meanwhile, has one year remaining on his contract. But that comes with a salary-cap cost of $30 million, which is the highest of any player since at least 2002, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Even if Brees gets a raise over his current rate of $20 million per year, he could lower his salary-cap figure by spreading it out into future years.
Brees turned 37 in January but still led the NFL with 4,870 passing yards last season in just 15 games played.
Determining Brees' value in his later years could prove difficult. His performance is worthy of a raise since he is now the ninth highest-paid quarterback in the league. But Tom Brady, 38, threw a wrinkle into the market for aging quarterbacks by accepting well below market value in his most recent contract extension (what turned out to be worth $15 million per year over the final three years).