Reports: Saints trade Sean Payton to Broncos


The Sean Payton saga appears to be over. According to multiple reports, Payton will return to the NFL as the next head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Since Payton was still under contract with the New Orleans Saints when he retired, the Broncos had to trade for him. The Saints will receive a first-round pick in 2023, plus their second-round pick in 2024. In exchange the Broncos get Payton and a 2024 third-round pick. It’s worth noting that the first-round pick the Saints will receive is the No. 29 pick in the draft, not the No. 5 pick. The latter one belongs to the Seahawks now, since the Broncos traded it away in their blockbuster deal to acquire Russell Wislon. The Broncos acquired the No. 29 pick from the Dolphins in exchange for Bradley Chubb.

Many expected the Broncos to compete in the AFC West last year after bringing in Wilson, but that deal was a flop in year one. Wilson had career lows with a 60.5% completion rate and a 84.4 QB rating. Further, his 16:11 TD:INT ratio made him almost as much of a liability as a playmaker. The Broncos finished dead last in the division with a 5-12 record.

This will be Payton’s first head coaching job outside New Orleans. He led the Saints from 2006-2021 and had a 152-89 record. He won the Coach of the Year award in his first season due the Saints’ quick turnaround under his leadership. The team improved from a 3-13 record in 2005 to 10-6 in 2006. Three seasons later, Payton and the Saints won the Super Bowl.


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