New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton may soon be back in the Big Easy, but what about two of his most trusted assistants? According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, both offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. and offensive line coach (and previous interim head coach) Aaron Kromer saw their contracts expire at the conclusion of this season. In other words, they are free agents on the coaching market.
Both coaches have seen interest in their services peak in the last year or two. Carmichael was granted permission to interview for the Colts job last year, and has already been linked to this year’s open Bears job. Kromer on the other hand was recently a finalist for the Boston College head coaching vacancy.
Obviously either man would leave their current roles — with or without a contract — if they could land an NFL head coaching job or upper-level college job. But what if they don’t? Could Carmichael become another team’s offensive coordinator? What about Kromer moving on to another team as a highly respected offensive line coach? The odds, in TDC’s view, are slim.
Carmichael would be foolish to leave the Saints if a head coaching job isn’t waiting on the other side. He’s proven the offense can operate without Sean Payton around, and has perhaps the league’s best quarterback to make him look good for another year. Moving laterally to another coordinator position seems counterproductive. The same can be said for Kromer, who has helped build the Saints offensive line into one of the league’s best, especially along the interior. He’s also arguably gotten more out of mediocre talent at offensive tackle than any other line coach in the league. Barring a coordinator position opening up (extremely unlikely) there’s no reason for Kromer to leave the Saints either.
Schefter is right in that both coaches are technically free agents. But barring a head coaching job being offered or some underlying, unknown friction in New Orleans, there’s no reason not to expect both coaches back on the Saints staff next season.