Colts had interest in Sean Payton before extending Chuck Pagano

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Indianapolis Colts expressed interest in New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton on the same day they negotiated a contract extension with coach Chuck Pagano, according to ESPN and the Terre Haute Tribune Star.

Pagano was given a four-year extension Monday night, ending speculation about his future after an 8-8 season with the Colts.

But despite Pagano's extension, which was completed after hours of meetings with owner Jim Irsay, the Colts also considered Payton, league sources told ESPN.

The Tribune Star reported Tuesday that the Colts were in talks with Payton while negotiations with Pagano were also happening.

Teams technically are not allowed to negotiate with Payton, who has two years remaining on his contract with the Saints.

Payton and Saints brass met extensively Monday to discuss his future in New Orleans. They are expected to continue talks on Tuesday.

Sources told Schefter and ESPN's Chris Mortensen that the 49ers and Eagles are expected to explore the potential of hiring Payton if the Saints make him available. The Dolphins are also interested in Payton, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Any team hoping to hire Payton will have to work out a compensation arrangement with the Saints.

ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett contributed to this report.

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