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(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Officially, the head coaching search is still underway, but some folks think Sean Payton has been signaling that he’s coming to the Carolina Panthers.

Twitter lit up on Saturday with the keen observations of die-hard Panthers fans: Sean Payton was wearing a purple and teal colored tie for his appearance on Fox’s NFL coverage.

The former New Orleans Saints head coach was set to interview with the Panthers in New York last week. That meeting was postponed following the death of Charlotte FC player Anton Walkes (Panthers owner David Tepper also owns Charlotte FC).  Sports Illustrated reports that an interview with Payton was “tentatively” scheduled for today.

Since before Matt Rhule was fired as head coach of the Panthers, I have thought that Sean Payton was the most qualified coaching candidate available.  But that assertion comes with a couple of things that I’m having trouble reconciling.

Sean Payton was involved in the “bountygate” scandal, in which some of our Carolina Panthers players were targeted.  This is going to be a sticking point for a lot of fans here.

Another issue is that it will cost the Panthers a lot to make Sean Payton their head coach.  In addition to his salary, our division rival, the New Orleans Saints, could end up with a first round draft pick (Payton is still under contract with the Saints).