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Amazon Makes Last-Minute Push To Hire Sean Payton

  • Ex-Saints coach could join Thursday Night Football coverage.
  • Tony Gonzalez is also joining Amazon TNF team.
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
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Fox Spots could lose another potential NFL TV talent before he signs on the dotted line.

Amazon Prime Video is making a strong, last-minute push to hire Sean Payton for its “Thursday Night Football” coverage, sources tell Front Office Sports.

The former Super Bowl-winning coach of the New Orleans Saints could serve as an analyst on Amazon’s pregame, halftime and post-game shows, said sources.

The 58-year old Payton told Dan Patrick he’s received multiple media offers since stepping down after 15 seasons as Saints coach.

Front Office Sports first reported Fox was targeting Payton back in January. With Fox’s No. 1 NFL team of Troy Aikman and Joe Buck bolting to ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” Fox has been talking to Payton about both games and studios. 

But Amazon seems to be the new favorite TV partner at NFL headquarters. 

During Thursday’s coverage of the 2022 NFL Draft, Commissioner Roger Goodell proudly announced former Fox analyst Tony Gonzalez was joining Amazon’s TNF.

The tech giant has also hired two big names — Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN — to call TNF games.

The rest of Amazon’s TNF talent team is taking shape. Kay Adams, host of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” is favored to land the hosting job for TNF’s pregame show. It’s talking to several candidates about the open sideline reporter position.

Meanwhile, Fox is poised to televise two of the next three Super Bowls. But the network has yet to decide who will succeed Aikman-Buck on its No. 1 NFL announce team.

Kevin Burkhardt is the favorite to land the play-by-play job. But Greg Olsen, Burkhardt’s analyst partner on Fox’s No. 2 team, is not a shoo-in. 

Fox is considering other candidates ranging from Michael Strahan and San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch to ex-QB’s Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler.

The network might split the baby by creating a three-person broadcast booth, said sources.

Payton told Patrick he’s open to return to NFL coaching. Some TV executives think he would be more of a short-term hire. If he doesn’t spend the rest of year assembling a staff for a possible job as Dallas Cowboys head coach.

“I’m not sure if Payton’s the solution — or a band-aid,” said one source.

Amazon will pay the NFL about $1 billion annually over 11 years  to serve as the exclusive home of TNF.

The tech giant will stream 15 TNF games a year through 2032. Amazon’s 2022 schedule kicks off Sep. 15 with the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Los Angeles Chargers.

Fox and Amazon declined to comment.

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