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Report: Saints initially asked for two 1st round picks in return for Sean Payton

The Saints high asking price reportedly held up Sean Payton being hired.

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

According to 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis, one of the big reasons why it took time for the Denver Broncos to hire Sean Payton was New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis’s high asking price. The initial reports indicated a first round would do it, but Loomis was seeking a Jon Gruden-level return. Back in 2002, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent two first-round picks and a second-round pick to the Oakland Raiders for Gruden and Loomis wanted the same return.

Thankfully, the Broncos did not end up paying that much.

The Broncos, who just sent a ton of draft capital to the Seattle Seahawks in return for quarterback Russell Wilson were not keen on giving up that amount of draft capital in return for Payton.

According to a source, the Saints initially asked for what Tampa Bay gave to Oakland in return for head coach Jon Gruden in 2002 — two first-round draft picks and a second-round pick. No way the Broncos were going there after they had already surrendered two first-round picks and two second-round picks last year for Russell Wilson.

After that, Loomis reportedly moved to the Bill Parcells template. In 1997, the New York Jets traded a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round pick over two years to the New England Patriots in return for Parcells. This was still too much for the Broncos who continued to negotiate the asking price down.

In the end, I am assuming general manager George Paton and the rest of the Broncos' decision-makers were able to knock the asking price down to a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick. They also received a 2024 third-round pick in return along with Payton which makes losing that second-round pick sting a bit less. So, playing the long game here ended up working in the Broncos' favor and the Saints were still able to get their coveted 1st round pick.

The Broncos are essentially trading Bradley Chubb and a 2024 second-round pick for Sean Payton and a 2024 third-round pick. If you frame it like that, it is not that costly of a trade for the Broncos who end up getting themselves one of the better offensive minds in the game. That is a pretty fair deal if you ask me, and the first-round pick was a very late first-rounder as well, so it is not a huge loss.

CEO/Owner Greg Penner told media and fans that he wanted to make a big swing and he did just that. The process was lengthy, it played out through the media and was frustrating at times, but they worked out a reasonable package and in the end, got one of their top targets.