Payton also played for the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts. Payton played for the Chicago Slaughter of the Indoor Football League and hosts his own internet radio show named the "Jarrett Payton Show" on ChicagolandSportsRadio.com.
Payton played high school soccer and football at St. Viator High School. In his first two years of high school, he opted for soccer and earned All-State player honors. As a senior in high school Payton accounted for 2,842 all-purpose yards while playing quarterback, tailback, and wide receiver (passed for 1,088 yards and rushed for another 1,345 yards). He was rated the No. 58 overall prospect in the nation by The Sporting News and named the No. 5 athlete in the Midwest Region by PrepStar.
As a freshman at the University of Miami, Payton saw action in several games. He finished his freshman year with 262 yards rushing on 53 carries for a 4.9 average. He also totaled six catches for 48 yards (8.0 average) and returned two kickoffs for 44 yards. As a sophomore in college Payton sat out the season with a redshirt year (not medically related). As a third-year sophomore, moving to fullback from tailback, Payton played in eight games during the regular season and gained 26 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. In 2002, as a fourth year junior, he played extensively at tailback and as a starting kickoff return man (averaged 20.7 yards per kickoff return). At tailback he rushed for 223 yards on 50 carries (4.5 average). In his final year at the University of Miami Payton ran for 1,018 yards and several touchdowns on 182 carries (5.4 average). He also caught 17 passes for 136 yards and one touchdown (8.0 average). He was also named the 2004 MVP of the Orange Bowl.
In 2005, he moved from the Titans to NFL Europe, where he played for the Amsterdam Admirals. He was a major part of the Admirals victory that year in the World Bowl XIII. Also a member of the all-NFL Europe League team in 2005. He was the Titans third running back for the 2005 season, finishing the season with 33 carries for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Payton was released prior to the 2006 season by the Titans during final cuts.
On February 22, 2007 it was announced that Payton had signed a one-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. He scored his first career CFL touchdown on August 2, 2007 against Toronto. Jarrett's first 100-yard rushing game came on August 9, 2007, when he rushed the ball 20 times for 160 yards and one touchdown against the Calgary Stampeders. Payton finished the season fifth in the CFL with 852 yards and fourth with eight rushing touchdowns. Payton was released by the Alouettes on July 2, 2008.
Payton signed with the Toronto Argonauts on June 7, 2009. He was released by the Argonauts, at his request, on September 9, 2009. During his time with the Argos he gained 47 all-purpose yards on three catches and seven carries. He announced that his desire was to continue work with the Chicago-based Walter & Connie Payton Foundation, which helps underprivileged children.
Payton signed with the Chicago Slaughter on January 7, 2010.
Payton is the son of Walter Payton, the former Chicago Bears running back great, and grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois and South Barrington, Illinois. He has a sister, Brittney. In 1993, 12-year-old Jarrett gave the induction speech at his father's induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He wore jerseys numbered 33, 4 (Titans), and 34 (Miami). Payton chose 33 when he played with the Titans because #34 was retired in honor of Earl Campbell. He wore #34 with the Chicago Slaughter.
Apart from playing football, Payton spends his time recording music. He was married to the former Trisha George on March 4, 2009 in Florida. The wedding date was intentionally set on this date to coincide with Walter Payton's famous #34 with the Bears. They held their reception at Soldier Field in Chicago on March 7. The couple has two children, son Jaden and daughter Madison.
In 2011, Payton formed formed the Jarrett Payton Foundation. The Jarrett Payton Foundation strives to positively influence young people in and around Chicago through two core programs: the youth football camp The Jarrett Payton Leadership Academy, and the anti-bullying program PROJECT: NO BULL. Both programs are continually expanding.
On May 8, 2015, Payton was hired as a sports reporter by WGN-TV, which includes a role as a host of a show on Chicagoland Television.