Broncos Saints Agreement – Sean Payton Named New Head Coach
Broncos Saints Agreement led Sean Payton to comeback in the NFL.
The Denver Broncos have secured their new head coach from the New Orleans Saints, as reported, according to sources. The Saints will receive a first-round pick in 2023 (No. 29) and a second-round pick in 2024 from the Broncos in exchange for Payton’s services, along with a third-round pick in the future, according to sources. Despite stepping down after the 2021 season, Payton was still under contract with the Saints, making it necessary for a complicated trade between New Orleans and any potential team interested. There were multiple teams interested in Payton who, this season, served as a studio analyst for Fox Sports and interviewed with four of the five teams with head coaching vacancies (Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans).
How Payton was hired?
The Denver Broncos took time to consider their options before deciding to hire Payton as their next head coach. The search process lasted over a month after Denver fired Nathaniel Hackett just 15 games into his first season. The team, led by owner and CEO Greg Penner, considered eight potential candidates, including college coaches (Jim Harbaugh, David Shaw), coordinators (Ejiro Evero, Raheem Morris, Dan Quinn, DeMeco Ryans), and experienced head coaches (Jim Caldwell, Payton). However, some options were ruled out as the process continued – Harbaugh announced he would remain at Michigan and Quinn returned to the Cowboys.
As reported by sources, the Broncos initially had their sights set on Ryans, who led the 49ers defense to a top-three ranking in his two years as coordinator, after their initial round of interviews. However, they were beaten to the punch by the Texans. The Broncos then attempted to persuade Harbaugh, who previously had success as head coach of the 49ers in the 2010s, during a visit to Ann Arbor, but to no avail. After this failed attempt, Denver started negotiating a deal with Payton and made a final effort to hire Ryans, but the coordinator, fresh off the 49ers’ NFC title game loss, was already committed to Houston. It was only after this that Denver officially acquired Payton, according to sources.
Payton, aged 59, spent 15 seasons as head coach for the New Orleans Saints and transformed the team alongside quarterback Drew Brees. During his tenure, he led the Saints to a 152-89 record, nine playoff appearances, seven division titles, and the team’s only Super Bowl championship in the 2009 season. After a 9-8 season in 2021, his first without Brees, Payton stepped down from his role and the Saints moved forward with Dennis Allen, Payton’s former defensive coordinator. Despite leaving the game, it was widely believed that Payton would eventually return to coaching, with the only questions being when and where.
Payton will now take the reins of a Broncos team that underperformed in 2022, despite the addition of Hackett, quarterback Russell Wilson, and other notable players like Randy Gregory. Denver’s offense struggled, ranking last in points scored, third-down conversion rate, and 21st in overall yardage. The offense, led by Wilson, experienced issues with poor time management, a lack of big plays, and costly turnovers. The talented defense was left to shoulder a heavy load, ranking 14th in points allowed and seventh in total yards allowed.
Despite their 4-11 record, the Broncos will not have a top-five pick in this year’s draft, as it belongs to the Seattle Seahawks who acquired it in the trade for Russell Wilson. The Broncos also no longer have their second first-round pick in the 2023 draft, as the No. 29 pick they received in the trade for Bradley Chubb is now with New Orleans. Payton, after a year-long break from football, is back in the game and has been tasked with revitalizing the career of a quarterback and the future of the Broncos franchise.
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