"I absolutely plan on being a New Orleans Saint," Payton told Fox Sports Insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer, who spoke with the coach Sunday morning. "This is the franchise I helped rebuild from the ground up with (general manager) Mickey Loomis, with the Benson family. I love working for the Benson family and with Mickey Loomis. Obviously that's why that stipulation was in the contract."
Saying you plan to coach the Saints isn't the same as saying you will coach the Saints. It's possible that the Payton news coming out Sunday is an effort from his camp to pressure Saints' organization for a hanging situation.
The contract has been held up for more than a year. NFL.com and NFL Network's Michael Lombardi confirmed Sunday that the league voided Payton's contract extension, which he received in 2011, because of concerns about the language in it. The Saints and the NFL discussed the issue many times, but they never found a resolution.
Glazer reported that Payton had a clause in the contract connecting his ability to leave the team with Loomis' status. The Saints and the NFL have been working out the contract language over that time without a resolution.
There is uncertainty about whether Payton will be a coaching free agent after 2012 or if his contract extends through 2013 because he was suspended by the NFL this season. Ultimately, that decision comes down to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
"Our office has made no determination on Sean Payton's contract status with the Saints for next year," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement Sunday. "All contracts between clubs and their employees must be approved by the commissioner, and we do not comment on specific terms of individual contracts. Any comment regarding the matter should come from Coach Payton and the Saints."
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.