Saints, Broncos agree to trade to become head coach Sean Payton Denver

The Broncos and the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a deal to make Sean Payton the next head coach in Denver, Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson confirmed.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported on Tuesday that the teams had accepted a deal.

Sources told Robinson the Broncos will send the Saints a first-round pick in 2023 and a second-round pick in 2024 for the rights to hire Payton, who remains under contract in New Orleans. The Broncos will also receive a 2024 third-round pick in return.

Shortly after the news broke, Payton told Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune which he is excited to take over in Denver.

“Great fans. Great tradition. The ownership group is amazing and I love the way they competed last year. It’s a great football city like New Orleans.”

The terms of a deal between Payton and the Broncos were initially unclear.

A year ago, Sean Payton stepped down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Everyone knew he wasn’t going to be out of coaching for very long.

“Retirement, I don’t think is the right word today,” Payton said when he resigned, according to WWL in New Orleans. “I don’t know what’s ahead and it makes me feel good.”

In this coaching cycle, Payton and Jim Harbaugh were the biggest names talking to the teams. As for Payton, a coach with his credentials is rarely available.

Sean Payton has had a great run as manager of the Saints

Payton was the head coach of the Saints from 2006-21. Before Payton came to New Orleans, the Saints had only one playoff win in franchise history. Payton won nine playoff games in New Orleans, including one Super Bowl.

A couple months after Payton joined the Saints, the team landed quarterback Drew Brees in free agency. It’s hard to separate the two and there’s always the question of which of the two was more responsible for the success of the Saints in that era, but Payton’s record is pretty strong.

Payton was 152-89 with the Saints. The team has never finished worse than 7-9 under him and had nine double-digit winning seasons. New Orleans has never had anything like that level of success before Payton. The Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV at the end of the 2009 season for their first and only championship in franchise history.

When teams hire a new head coach, it’s rare to find a candidate who has more than 60 games out of .500 and has a Super Bowl ring. Payton has only had one season out of football, working with Fox Sports, so it’s not like he’s been out of the game for very long and eluded him. Payton had reportedly been working on building her next staff of assistants. Once the off-season began, he had multiple teams interested in taking him out of his brief hiatus from coaching, with the Saints owning the rights to him and could get a commercial fee if he was hired by another team.

Payton, who is 59, wasn’t ready to leave the bench permanently.

Sean Payton coached the Saints for 15 seasons.  (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Sean Payton coached the Saints for 15 seasons. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

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