According to ESPN’s NFL insider, Adam Schefter, the Denver Broncos have requested and received permission from the New Orleans Saints to interview Sean Payton for their head coaching vacancy.
He also states that the NFL has ruled that no in-person interview can happen with Payton until January 17th at the earliest.
The Denver Broncos requested and received permission from the New Orleans Saints to interview Sean Payton got their head coach job, league sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2023
The NFL ruled that any in-person interview with Payton cannot be conducted until at least January 17, per sources.
Sean Payton stepped away from coaching after last season but is now looking to get back into it after a pretty damn good career in New Orleans. Now, he will interview for the Broncos Head Coaching vacancy.
Since Payton stepped away from coaching with years still left on his contract, his rights remain with the New Orleans Saints. So, if the Broncos wanted to hire Payton, they would have to agree to some sort of compensation in return. According to reports/rumors, it would cost the Broncos or whoever is interested at least a first-round pick in return to acquire Payton. So, that does complicate any sort of deal for Payton, but if the Broncos are interviewing him, they must feel comfortable paying whatever the asking price is.
With all that said, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is saying the Broncos and Saints have not talked or agreed to compensation as of yet. That will happen if the interview goes well and both sides want to make a deal.
This would be a helluva hire for the Broncos if they were able to get Payton. He is one of the brightest offensive minds in the NFL and would instantly help the Broncos' offense and hopefully quarterback, Russell Wilson. One thing that could make things awkward for some Broncos players is Payton’s rumored defensive coordinator choice. Reports are indicating that Payton would like to bring in former Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio as his defensive coordinator. Fangio was fired from the Broncos just one year ago by current General Manage George Paton and some Broncos players made some negative comments publicly about Fangio after his firing as well. So, it will be interesting to see how that plays out. Fangio is one of the best defensive minds in the entire NFL so adding him would be a huge addition, even if it might be awkward for both parties.
Denver Broncos CEO and Co-Owner Greg Penner is heading the Broncos coaching search and was expected to make a big swing for a high-profile coach. Payton would be just that and the Broncos ownership also has the funding to make Payton the highest-paid coach in the NFL. I would expect the Broncos to try to bring in Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in for interviews as well. We could also see current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero get an interview as well.
You would have to assume that Payton is at the top or at least sharing the top spot on the Broncos coaching list with Jim Harbaugh. They already have Payton coming in for an interview so we shall see if anything will happen with Harbaugh.
Now, how badly does Payton want the Broncos? Will a big check sway him to come to the Mile High City, or will he look elsewhere for a head coaching gig? We shall see.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Saints have only agreed to let the Broncos meet and talk with Payton, but nothing more. They cannot offer him a contract or even negotiate one with him.
Per source, the Saints have agreed only to allow the Broncos to meet with Sean Payton and nothing more. The Broncos can’t negotiate a contract with him. They can’t make him an offer. Just meet and talk.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 8, 2023
So, with the Saints playing hardball here, it might lower the odds of Payton becoming the Broncos' coach. Not only have they not talked about potential trade compensation, but they also cannot talk about money with Payton or talk about a deal with him. So, this interview may not amount to very much.
I would still list Jim Harbaugh as the potential favorite if he does indeed want to make the jump back into the NFL. I think we will find out within the next few days about Harbaugh’s interest in returning to the NFL and specifically with the Broncos.
As for Payton, I guess we will just wait until the 17th and see what happens after that. Seems like there might be too many hurdles here for the Broncos to land Sean Payton.
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