By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If Sean Payton ends up being a free-agent, he would instantly be the most desirable head coach on the market. If the Eagles need one fof those, one report says he would top their list.

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, a long time backer of current Eagles head coach Andy Reid, says Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie would make hiring Payton a priority.

If Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie fires Andy Reid at the end of the season, Payton, who coached quarterbacks in Philly in 1997 and ’98, would be intriguing to him, and I believe Lurie would try hard to get him. It’s a Lurie kind of move, trying to head off Dallas at the pass and take the kind of jump with a playoff-ready team that would give them a chance to break out of their recent malaise.

King says that along with the Eagles and Saints, the Cowboys would be the most likely to go after Payton.

It was reported on Sunday that the NFL voided Payton’s contract extension with the Saints in light of the bounty scandal. Payton’s extension would have kept him in New Orleans through the 2015 season, but if voided, would make him a free-agent after the 2012 season.

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