NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) —The second longest-tenured coach in the NFL is gone, one year after his quarterback retired.

Is there a connection?

You betcha.

NFL football is a lot less fun when you don’t have the signal-caller on campus that can potentially get you to the Super Bowl.

In Kansas City, in Cincinnati, and in Buffalo, the Super Bowl windows are wide open.

If anything, Sunday night’s Bills/Chiefs AFC playoff thriller was a snapshot of the high-level play it will take to win the big one.

The Tennessee Titans were the number one seed in the AFC, but when their quarterback tossed three interceptions, the Titans playoff hopes went up in smoke.

So, what will Sean Payton do?

He will have a network TV job, and probably be quite good at it.

He will do that for a year or two until the right job comes open.

And, he will then take it

And, for all of those who think that Payton is leaving big money on the table by leaving with three years left on his contract, I politely disagree.

Each offseason, an NFL team, desperate to hire an outstanding coach with throw giant dollars at Payton.

His price could be anywhere from 15 to 20 million a season, and he will get it.

In the meantime, the clubhouse leader to be the Saints head coach is Dennis Allen.

The current defensive coordinator is an outstanding coach, highly respected in the building.

His job, just like Payton’s, is to find the Saints quarterback of the future.

Because without that, the effort to climb the ladder can be exhausting.

Just ask Sean Payton.