Sean Payton, who led the New Orleans Saints to a Super Bowl 44 win in the 2009 season, is nearing an agreement to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Because Payton was under contract with the Saints through the 2024 season, a trade package had to be agreed upon with both teams.
Breaking: Saints and Broncos are finalizing compensation in return for Super Bowl-winning HC Sean Payton, sources tell ESPN. This clears the way for Payton to sign with the Broncos to become Denver’s next head coach.
And so Payton is expected to head to Denver as its next HC. pic.twitter.com/HA4RAtE6P8
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2023
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Denver will send a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick to New Orleans for Payton and a 2024 third-rounder.
Payton was the most coveted NFL head coach during this year’s cycle. He spent the last season as an analyst with Fox. Payton has a 152-89 regular-season record, including seven NFC South championships, three NFC championship appearances and a Super Bowl win.
Payton will be tasked with reviving the career of quarterback Russell Wilson. He signed a five-year, $245 million contract, with $165 million guaranteed during the 2022 offseason after 10 years with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Broncos were 5-12 in 2022, with first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett. He was then fired Dec. 26 with two games remaining during the season. Wilson missed two games with injuries. He had been delivering an 84.4 passer rating and 16 touchdowns — both figures the lowest of his career. Wilson’s record was an abysmal 4-11.
The Broncos started 2-1 and went 1-5 in the AFC West. Payton’s challenge will be to get Denver competitive inside the division. However, the Chiefs have won seven consecutive division titles behind Super Bowl-winning coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The Broncos also must fend off a Chargers franchise with rising quarterback Justin Herbert. They do not seem to be favorites to win the division according to Colorado sports-books.
The Broncos have won three Super Bowls. Their last playoff appearance came in the 2015 season, when they won the Super Bowl.