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Sean Payton spoke with Broncos about HC vacancy

By newadmin / Published on Sunday, 08 Jan 2023 18:39 PM / No Comments / 3 views

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Sean Payton figures to be one of the NFL‘s most sought-after coaches this offseason. The process for his potential return to the sidelines has already begun.

The former New Orleans Saints coach and current FOX studio analyst said Sunday morning that he recently spoke with the Denver Broncos — presumably CEO Greg Penner, who’s in charge of most of the team’s day-to-day operations — about their vacancy.

Denver is the first (and thus far the only) team that Payton said he’s spoken with about a coaching return and the two sides were only able to have that dialogue after the club received permission from the Saints. 

“I was able to have a conversation with their owner and that’s kind of the protocol,” Payton said.

Payton, who stepped aside from coaching following the 2021 season, is still under contract with New Orleans through the 2024 season. That means a club would first have to finalize a trade with the Saints before securing his services. Payton noted he cannot formally interview for any coaching job until Jan. 17.

Sean Payton on what teams around the NFL would need to do to land him as their next head coach

On “FOX NFL Kickoff”, Sean Payton spoke about the recent inquiries of teams around the NFL to make him their next head coach.

While the Broncos are seen as a strong candidate to land Payton because of the presence of former Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson, Payton said the alignment between him and a front office would be the primary factor in returning to coaching.

“I think it’s really about the triangular relationship — ownership front office, coach,” Payton said. “When we went to New Orleans, the quarterback was unsettled at that time. So I think ownership and the functionality of the front office is most important.”

The Broncos post became open in December after the new brass parted ways with first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett after just 15 games. It’s one of three early vacancies around the league, along with the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts. FOX’s Jay Glazer reported the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans and Los Angeles Rams could also be in search of new coaches this offseason.

Interestingly, when asked what is the likelihood on a scale between 1-10 that he’d remain with FOX next season, Payton said “7.”  

“I love my job here,” Payton said. “There’s absolutely not a [team] I’m leaning towards. I’m kind of picky, so this job is as good as a lot of those jobs. There’s no utopia. All these teams are moving on for reasons. Some of them you got to be careful, if it’s not just the coach, that there’s other problems that are deeper.”

Payton, 59, compiled a 152-89 mark in the regular season and went 9-8 in the playoffs over 15 seasons with New Orleans, which included winning Super Bowl XLIV and seven NFC South titles. His .631 winning percentage ranks seventh all-time among NFL coaches with at least 150 wins.

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