The LA Chargers just pulled off a heroic win over the Arizona Cardinals on a gutsy two-point conversion attempt to keep the team's playoff hopes alive. Despite that, it still seems like the main focus of the fanbase is the future with Sean Payton looming.
Chargers fans have been calling for Payton since he was initially rumored to be interested in the team before the 2022 season began. As the 2022 season has unfolded, and Brandon Staley has not lived up to expectations, those calls for Payton only grew louder and louder.
They certainly reached an ear-ringing level of noise during the Chargers' Week 12 game against the Cardinals. The team pulled out the victory, but for most of the game, fans were not happy with the team's performance and Staley's decision-making. A last-second win did not take away the yearning for Payton to bring his Hall of Fame resume to Los Angeles.
Fans that are yearning for that future are not going to be happy with the latest Sean Payton rumors, though. Mike Sando of The Athletic recently put together an excellent write-up with intel from league personnel about the potential coaching carousel this offseason. And based on Sando's reporting, it seems like Payton was never actually in the cards for the Chargers.
"But most significantly, execs think there is zero chance the Chargers would do the three things required for landing Payton: trading away premium draft choices, paying Payton near the top of the coaching market and ceding significant personnel authority to him. That simply is not how the Chargers operate. "
This not only lowers the odds of Sean Payton, but secures Brandon Staley's future with the Chargers.
Chargers fans that want to see the team go a different direction at head coach are going to be disappointed with this report. Not only does it make the odds of Payton coming to Los Angeles much smaller, but it likely secures another season for Brandon Staley, regardless of how this one pans out.
To be fair, Staley was never going to get the ax if the Chargers made the playoffs. While it has looked ugly for the teams at times this season, if Staley piloted a playoff team with all of the injuries they suffered this season there is no chance that ownership would fire him, pay him to not coach, and hire someone else.
And if Staley misses the playoffs, it now seems like they won't do all that, either. The one reason to fire Staley would be to go get someone like Payton. If the team is not going to go after Payton then it seems really far-fetched to expect them to fire Staley and start this entire process over for someone who isn't already established.
If anything, the team may consider coordinator changes and tweaks to the way things are operated but it no longer seems like a slam dunk that Staley will be fired if the Chargers miss the playoffs.