Broncos CEO and owner Greg Penner and his searching committee have not been wasting time in their search for their next head coach.
Payton is on top of Denver’s list for coaching candidates, but if Payton agrees he wants to join Denver, the Broncos will have to trade for the Super Bowl-winning head coach, but it would come at a certain price.
During an interview on Colin Cowherd’s radio show on January 16, Payton expressed what it would cost a team to trade for him because he remains under contract with the Saints.
“I think ultimately the compensation for the Saints would be a mid or later first-round pick.”
Currently, Denver owns the 29th overall pick in the first round after they traded away pass rusher Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins.
Along with the Broncos, Payton will also interview with the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers this week.
The Texans currently own the No. 2 and No. 12 overall picks while the Panthers own the No. 9 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, New Orleans has kept close tabs on what other franchises received for other top coaching candidates.
In 1997, the New England Patriots traded head coach Bill Parcells to the New York Jets for first, second, third, and a fourth-round pick along with $300,000 donated to charity.
In 2000, New England sent first, fourth, and seventh-round picks to the New York Jets for head coach Bill Belichick along with a fifth and seventh-round pick.
In 2002, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded away two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and $8 million to the Oakland Raiders for head coach Jon Gruden.
Ownership & Quarterback Is Important to Sean Payton
In order to have a successful franchise in the NFL, the team needs to have a franchise quarterback and stability at ownership.
Unlike their last seven seasons, the Broncos didn’t have an owner or franchise quarterback. Now Denver has the richest owners in the NFL and a quarterback in Russell Wilson that looked like his old self closing out the season.
Cowherd asked Payton if ownership and the quarterback are the two most important things that matter to him, Payton agreed.
“If the quarterback is there, they’re probably a team that’s playing well. The teams that have openings, I’m not going to say are broken, but they’ve had problems. That’s why there’s an opening. I think that element is critical, the ownership element and philosophically.” Payton added, “It’s hard to win in this league and it’s certainly harder to win in this league if there’s internal problems before you even play an opponent.”
Broncos Named as ‘Front-Runner’ to Land Sean Payton
The Broncos’ owners have already received permission and talked to Payton already, but they were restricted from getting into details about a trade for him because he remains under contract with the Saints.
“The Broncos appear to be the front-runner for Sean Payton, at least in the early stages of the process. Payton likes the franchise’s stable ownership and would be happy to work with Russell Wilson,” said Maske.
There’s also been speculation that Payton could be waiting on the Dallas Cowboys’ head coaching position if it opens up, but head coach Mike McCarthy has Dallas in the playoffs and won 12 games this season.
“It will be interesting if the Cowboys end up moving on from Mike McCarthy and enter the bidding for Sean Payton. They clearly would be a contender. But even if that occurs, it’s possible that Payton would opt for the Broncos.”
The Broncos will interview Payton on Tuesday, January 17, per Schefter.