METAIRIE, La. — Saints Coach Sean Payton said on Wednesday he’s remaining with New Orleans, ending speculation that he could be on the move after consecutive 7-9 seasons.

Payton has been with the Saints for a decade and coming off his first consecutive losing seasons.

“I don’t envision myself ever coaching for any other clubs,” Payton said. “I know it appeared there was a looming decision, but I think this is really me saying again … here I am and nothing’s changing and I plan on finishing my career here … I’ll be here as long as they’ll have me.”

Payton began his first and only NFL head coaching job with the Saints in 2006, the season after the team had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Since then, he has gone 87-57 in the regular season with five playoff appearances and one Super Bowl title in the 2009 season.

Buccaneers: Tampa Bay fired coach Lovie Smith on Wednesday night after the Bucs went 6-10 this season and 8-24 over his two years in charge of the team. The announcement came as a surprise to many because Smith’s job was not considered to be in danger.


“This decision was difficult on a variety of levels,” Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said. “I am disappointed that we were not more successful these past few seasons, but we are committed to doing what is necessary to give our fans the winning team they deserve.”

Smith led the Chicago Bears to the NFC title in 2006, when they lost to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl. He was 84-66 in nine seasons with Chicago.

BENGALS: Quarterback Andy Dalton walked around the field in a stocking cap, coat and gloves on Wednesday, a step back from a day earlier when he did conditioning drills and threw a pass left-handed.

SEAHAWKS: Running back Marshawn Lynch was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, his first on-field work with the Seahawks since undergoing abdominal surgery in late November and missing the final seven games of the regular season.

CHIEFS: Linebacker Justin Houston said he plans to play in Saturday’s wild-card game in Houston, his first game since hyperextending his knee in November.

RAMS: The team will not renew contracts of five assistant coaches, including former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia, who lasted one year as an offensive assistant.

49ERS: Running back Reggie Bush filed a lawsuit against the St. Louis Regional Convention and Stadium Authority for a season-ending knee injury sustained Nov. 1 when he slipped on bare concrete bordering the field at the Edward Jones Dome.

The suit maintains the stadium authority was negligent and seeks in excess of $50,000 plus unspecified punitive damages.

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