According to the Washington Posts Mark Maske, the Denver Broncos remain in very strong position to land former New Orleans Saints head coach, Sean Payton. As he previously reported, Payton has told associates that he likes the stable Broncos ownership and is willing to work with quarterback Russell Wilson.
The Broncos remain in very strong position to be able to get Sean Payton, whatever the interest level by other teams. They have the NFL's wealthiest owners. Payton has told associates that he likes the Broncos' stable ownership and is willing to work with Russell Wilson.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) January 18, 2023
As we know, the Broncos met with Payton on Tuesday in Los Angeles for “several hours” and apparently the interview went well. According to NOLA.com’s Jeff Duncan, Payton came away particularly impressed with the Broncos group and that he likes Broncos majority owner Rob Walton.
“The interviews with the Texans and Broncos went well, according to sources. Payton was particularly impressed with the Broncos group, who he met with for several hours. He likes majority owner Rob Walton and the management team he has assembled in Denver”
In multiple public appearances, Sean Payton has stressed the importance of ownership and has even said it is the most important aspect he is looking at when interviewing with interested teams. With Maske’s reports stating that he likes the Broncos' stable ownership and now Duncan’s report stating that Payton was particularly impressed with the Broncos group and ownership, it is hard not to come away from this cautiously optimistic. The Broncos have the ownership going for them, they have funds to make plenty of moves for him, and would likely be given the power he wants within the organization.
Then we have NFL Network’s insider Tom Pelissero appearing on NFL Network’s show The Insiders where he had some interesting news on Payton and the Broncos. He said: “It sure seems like, though, if Sean Payton is going to take a job in this cycle, everything is lining up for Denver”.
So, there is a lot of smoke out there regarding Payton and the Broncos and it is coming from three different sources. One being a Saints insider, one being from a national media, and the other being a top insider at NFL Network. So, there does appear to be some legitimate smoke out there regarding the Broncos and Sean Payton.
However, they are still facing competition for his services. Payton had a zoom call with the Houston Texans on Monday night and has a meeting set with Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper. Washington Posts Mark Maske is also reporting that one source has told him that Panthers owner David Tepper will do whatever it takes to land Payton. He did continue by saying he does not know how enthusiastic Payton is about the Panthers' job.
The Broncos will continue their search by meeting with the San Francisco 49ers' defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans tomorrow and the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on Friday. After that, the Broncos' first round of interviews will be complete and we will see if they do a second round. Also, we should know more about Sean Payton’s plans by the end of the week as well.
So, we are nearing the end of this coaching search. The Broncos owners are expected to take a big swing and be “ultra-aggressive” in their search. Add that to all the smoke around Sean Payton, and we could see a potential marriage between the two. I would not rule out Dan Quinn either. He has a strong connection with General Manager George Paton and has some fans within that building, so we shall see.