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Broncos will fly out to Los Angeles today to interview Sean Payton for their head coaching vacancy

Today is the big day, will the Denver Broncos lock up Sean Payton, or let the process play out?

Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos coaching search is going to get real today.

CEO/Owner Greg Penner, part owner Condoleezza Rice, and General Manager George Paton will travel to Los Angeles to interview head coaching candidate Sean Payton. This will be the first in-person interview for Payton and it will be with the Broncos who likely view him as their top candidate for their head coaching vacancy.

This is big because, with Jim Harbaugh returning to Michigan, that leaves Payton as the remaining “big swing” that the Broncos can take in this coaching search. Throughout this entire process, they have been the first team to reach out to him, the first team to schedule an in-person interview with him, and they may be the first team to officially offer him the coaching job.

Now, the Texans did get in an interview with Payton on Monday Night, but that was a zoom call. No team could meet in person with Payton until today, and the fact that the Texans just got a zoom call is likely somewhat telling. Payton did say he is expected to meet with Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper on Friday to interview for the Panthers job. However, the Broncos are once again the first team to discuss their opening with the top available coach on the market.

At the beginning of this process, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Broncos will be “ultra-aggressive” in landing the head coaching candidate they want and will not spare any expense to “upgrade the franchise”. Well, it appears that the guy they want is Sean Payton, so will we see Penner be “ultra-aggressive” and end the search right then and there?

A big contract offer to Payton with the promise of paying his coordinators very well would have to be very enticing. No team can outbid the deep pockets of Walmart, so the Broncos always had this advantage on their side. Also, CEO/Owner Greg Penner already has stated that the new coach will report directly to the owner, so he will be given that power as well. We could even see Payton given the opportunity to bring his own people to work in the Broncos' front office.

Doing all this and offering Payton the Broncos job on the spot would be an ultra-aggressive move. There is a chance that Payton and/or the Broncos will want this process to continue to play out before making any bold decisions. As we know, the Broncos are also interviewing Raheem Morris while in Los Angeles today and have DeMeco Ryans and Dan Quinn interviews scheduled later in the week. Also, as I said earlier, Payton said he is scheduled to meet with the Panthers on Friday and potentially with the Cardinals sometime down the road.

With all that said, I think there is a chance this all could end today.

We already have reports stating the Broncos are the “front-runner” for Sean Payton and that he likes the stable Broncos ownership and would be happy to work with quarterback Russell Wilson. If all that ends up being true and Greg Penner is ultra-aggressive in landing Payton and offers him a deal that makes him the highest-paid coach, I do not see how this deal does not get done.

I expect the Broncos to flex their financial muscle here and make sure they do not embarrass themselves by missing out on their reported top target in their first real big move as owners.

As we know, any agreement with Payton means the Broncos would also have to trade for his rights with the New Orleans Saints. Payton was on the Colin Cowherd show and confirmed that it would take a mid to late first-round pick to acquire him from the Saints. He did say each team has differing packages, but that is the expected return. It was already reported that the two teams are on the “same page” on compensation, so it could be a quick conversation to finalize this thing.

At the end of today, we could have a clearer picture of how the current Broncos coaching search will play out. It is also possible that we are left with more questions than answers when it comes to this coaching search.