Super Bowl winning coach Sean Payton and Fox Sports are deep in negotiations to make the former Saints head coach an NFL studio analyst, The Post has learned.
Payton would be on “Fox NFL Kickoff,” the network’s Sunday morning show, and would contribute to its top pregame show, “Fox NFL Sunday,” according to sources. Fox and Payton have only discussed studio positions, not a job as a game analyst. Fox’s lead analyst spot is vacant because Troy Aikman left for ESPN.
A deal with Payton has not been completed.
Payton has also drawn substantial interest from Amazon Prime Video for its “Thursday Night Football” pregame show, according to sources.
Fox Sports declined comment.
For Payton and Fox a deal would be a good test to see if he has a future in television. There is a strong feeling that Payton, 58, could return to coaching soon. He chose to step away from the Saints after 15 seasons, which included winning a Super Bowl in 2009.
Payton would be a regular on “Fox NFL Kickoff,” the 11 am show that is hosted by Charissa Thompson. On its top program, “Fox NFL Sunday,” Jimmy Johnson, 78, doesn’t always appear on the full slate of Sundays, which would allow Payton to be on the big set, as well.
While Payton could return to coaching, if he does well on TV and likes it, he could one day succeed Johnson full-time.
Meanwhile, Fox still is figuring out how he will replace Aikman on his top NFL team. Aikman and Joe Buck left for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Kevin Burkhardt is replacing Buck as the No. 1 play-by-player, though Fox has yet to announce it.
As for Burkhardt’s partner, Greg Olsen could be promoted to the top team, but Fox could also try to bring over Drew Brees from NBC to either be in its top booth as a solo analyst, on a three-man team combining with Olsen or as No. 2 game analyst. Fox has vowed to take its time making the decision, and has held steady to that commitment.