In an effort to maintain front-office stability, Payton inserted a clause into his Sept.-2011 contract extension allowing him to bolt "The Big Easy" if general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended or fired. That clause was at the heart of the NFL's decision to void the contract, leading to hand-wringing over Payton's future in New Orleans.
Not to worry. After re-signing Payton for five years in late December, the franchise's higher-ups turned their attention to Loomis. Saints vice chairman Rita Benson confirmed to USA Today on Monday that Loomis recently received his own five-year extension, locking up both architects of the team's only Super Bowl title.
Although the Payton-Loomis tag-team will have its hands full restocking a depleted defense in a more competitive NFC South disivion, Saints fans can rest assured that the tiller is once again pointed in the right direction after a tumultuous 2012.