Sean Payton decided to step away from coaching football in January, ending one of the longest active tenures in NFL - only behind longtime New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. However, it could take only a year to see him back.

Payton spent 15 seasons at the helm of the Saints, leading New Orleans to their first ever Super Bowl triumph in 2010, when the team led by legendary quarterback Drew Brees took down Peyton Manning's Colts in Miami.

His success has drawn interest from other teams, especially when he left the Saints earlier this year. While the Dolphins were heavily linked with a potential move for the 58-year-old, it seems that the Panthers want to go after him next year.

Panthers reportedly interested in hiring Sean Payton in 2023

According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, in Carolina they're willing to wait until 2023 to try and convince Sean Payton to coach the Panthers. This year, Payton is expected to work as a football analyst on TV while he takes time off the gridiron.

"But nobody expects Payton to retire from the sidelines for good. Instead, he’s expected to re-emerge as an NFL head coach during the 2023 season after spending a year on TV," McCarthy wrote.

The Panthers, however, would have to offer something in return to the Saints, given that Payton is under contract until 2024, and their demands could include a first or a second-round pick.

The idea of Panthers wanting Payton makes sense, it's been four years since they made the playoffs and two of them were under current coach Matt Rhule. On the other hand, the idea of Payton returning to the league isn't far-fetched either. The question is whether he'd be interested in the Panthers job.