While it seems each day there’s a new report about Sean Payton leaving for a different team, the Saints coach has not given credence to the speculation.
During a conference call with the Jacksonville media Wednesday, Payton said he sees himself remaining in New Orleans beyond this season.
“I see myself coaching this team long past this season,” he said.
As he did in October, Payton pointed out that there have been rumors about him leaving the Saints nearly every season and that it has never been true.
“Well, I said this earlier in the season, and this is my ninth year coaching here in New Orleans, and it’s come up every, I’m going to say, two to three years I guess,” Payton said. “Listen, it comes with the territory.”
Payton also said he considers this to be his home and enjoys the proximity to his children.
“I just finished building a home here. I’m close enough to my son back in Dallas where I’m pretty much back there once a week or he’s over here; my daughter is off in college now,” Payton said.
This likely won’t be an end to the rumors, but Payton has remained steadfast in saying this is where he sees himself in the future.
The Saints are bringing in a familiar face to help over the final two weeks of the season.
New Orleans claimed running back Travaris Cadet off of waivers Wednesday, handing the Saints a return option with rookie Marcus Murphy on injured reserve because of a high ankle sprain.
Cadet, who opened the season in New England after signing with the Patriots as a restricted free agent last offseason, was just released after playing four games in San Francisco.
New Orleans released wide receiver T.J. Graham to make room for the move.
Used sparingly for the 49ers — Cadet had just 16 rushing yards and 66 receiving yards — the former Saint now returns to the place where he carved out a role in three seasons from 2012-2014.
Cadet spent his final season in New Orleans as mostly a receiving option, catching 38 passes for 296 yards before the Saints allowed him to leave by deciding not to tender him in free agency last offseason.
Graham, mostly a special teams gunner, had four catches for 24 yards this season, but was inactive the past two weeks.
Short holiday week
The Saints have a few obstacles to overcome in terms of the schedule this week.
Coming off a Monday night game, New Orleans was already dealing with a short week. With Christmas on Friday, there is another obstacle to overcome.
The Saints did not have a scheduled practice Wednesday and decided to treat the day as a typical Tuesday.
“Today’s like a Tuesday with three hours of sleep,” Payton said. “You’ve got to get a lot in here before (Thursday) and Friday. Obviously it’s the holidays and you want to get these guys a chance to get home. Typically we try to get the whole plan in by this evening.”
Tight end Ben Watson said that, from the standpoint of players, coming off a Monday night game is always challenging.
“The only thing worse than Monday night is Monday night on the road,” he said. “At least we were home. … The challenges are being able to turn the page quickly because you only get that one day off and you have to move on to the next opponent. Physically, there’s a little bit less time to recover physically from the game. And mentally, playing a night game can be challenging to get back into it the next week.”