Report: Fox Would Target Sean Payton To Replace Troy Aikman If He Goes To Amazon

Next Sunday could very well be the last time we see the Joe Buck-Troy Aikman pairing as Fox’s lead NFL broadcast booth, as rumors have swirled about Aikman potentially bolting from Fox for Amazon’s new NFL booth (alongside Al Michaels) when the streaming service begins its first season as the sole proprietor of Thursday Night Football.

It would be a considerable shakeup and with Cris Collinsworth likely re-upping at NBC and Tony Romo locked in to a massive deal at CBS, Fox would have to look either internally or to someone new to broadcasting for an Aikman replacement. If they were to promote anyone in-house, Greg Olsen has garnered terrific reviews in his young broadcasting career, but certainly doesn’t carry the big-name quality that Fox may be hunting to replace Aikman.

Of outside candidates, one surprising name is popping up at the top of the list for Fox, as Mike McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports they’ll make a hard push for current New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton to leave the sideline and come to the booth.

Fox Sports is targeting New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton as a candidate to succeed Troy Aikman should the former Dallas Cowboys star bolt for Amazon, sources tell Front Office Sports.

Payton has not committed to returning to the Saints for the 2022 season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Super Bowl-winning coach is at the top of Fox’s hit list, said sources.

It would be fascinating to see Payton leave in the middle of a coaching contract to enter broadcasting, but Rapoport reports there’s a real chance he decides to take at least a year away from coaching to recharge. What makes that all the more interesting is if Payton isn’t retiring for good and instead is taking a break from coaching before looking to return to the sideline, would Fox want to go through this process again in a year or two to find another replacement for their top broadcast.

It’d be a massive story both in the broadcasting space and from a football perspective, as the Saints would suddenly be on the hunt for a new head coach as they deal with trying to figure out their organizational future after Drew Brees’ retirement.