Sean Payton to be Broncos' next head coach after Denver agrees to trade with New Orleans, sources say
Published in Football
The Broncos are close to finalizing a deal with the New Orleans that will put former Saints head coach Sean Payton in line to be their next head coach, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Post on Tuesday afternoon.
The Broncos are sending New Orleans this year’s first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick for Payton and New Orleans’ 2024 third-rounder, the sources confirmed.
Payton’s impending hire as the 19th full-time head coach in Denver’s history represents a seismic move in the NFL’s coaching landscape.
In order to negotiate a contract with Payton, who is under contract with the Saints through 2024, Denver must first agree to trade terms with the Saints. ESPN reported the Broncos and New Orleans have discussed two trade packages with New Orleans, one built around their 2023 first-round pick and another around their 2024 first-round pick.
Payton interviewed with Broncos CEO Greg Penner, general manager George Paton and limited shareholder Condoleezza Rice in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Jan. 17 after having an initial conversation with Penner earlier in the month. They did not conduct a formal second interview, but sources say the sides kept in touch throughout the process as Payton visited Carolina and Arizona for interviews and Denver worked through other hiring options including San Francisco defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.
Penner said on Dec. 27, the day after Nathaniel Hackett was fired, that he and his staff planned to be aggressive in the search and that, “We think we can find a great head coach for this organization.”
Certainly, they found an accomplished coach.
Payton’s return to the sideline in 2023 will put him sixth among active coaches in wins at 153, behind only Bill Belichick (New England), Andy Reid (Kansas City), Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh), Pete Carroll (Seattle) and Mike McCarthy (Dallas).
He led New Orleans to a Super Bowl championship in Feb. 2010 and had the Saints in the playoffs nine times in his 15 seasons with the organization. Payton and the Saints won the NFC South seven times during his time there and he owns a career postseason mark of 9-8. Outside the Super Bowl season, his Saints teams lost in the NFC championship game twice, the divisional round four times and the wild card round twice.
They won the division four consecutive years from 2017-20 before going 9-8 and missing the playoffs in his final season before resigning. That deep playoff experience is part of Payton’s allure, as is his reputation as one of the game’s brightest offensive minds.
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