When news broke yesterday that New Orlean's head coach Sean Payton will be a free agent at the end of this year, speculation began as to where he would end up next.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated, one of the most connected men in the NFL, had this to say about where Payton could end up next year.
Eagles fans will likely enjoy his take.
If Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie fires Andy Reid at the end of the season, Payton, who coached quarterbacks in Philly in 1997 and ’98, would be intriguing to him, and I believe Lurie would try hard to get him. It’s a Lurie kind of move, trying to head off Dallas at the pass and take the kind of jump with a playoff-ready team that would give them a chance to break out of their recent malaise.
King's take on why Payton would end up here is an interesting one, and in many ways has nothing to do with football. If Lurie were to bring in Payton, King speculates it would almost totally be for the good PR, and to try to hurt Dallas.
Both reasons make complete sense.
Two summers ago when Nnamdi Asomugha was a free agent, Dallas Owner Jerry Jones thought he had Asomugha in the bag before Philadelphia came in and signed him at the last minute. At the time the move was looked at as a no brainier for the Eagles, both because they were signing one of the best corner backs in the game, but also keeping him away from Dallas. We'll never know how much Asomugha possibly going to Dallas had to do with the Eagles making the final offer they did, but it likely didn't hurt.
Signing Payton would also give Eagles fans the new face on the sideline they have wanted for years- but also give Lurie a proven coach who he could hand a playoff team over to.
A lot will happen between now and when this type of discussion gets serious. If the Eagles win tonight, it could be the beginning of a run by the players to save Reid's job.
If they don't win tonight, however, the speculation will only get louder and more justified.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks