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Saints want more than a first-round pick for Sean Payton

Mike Florio provides the latest on the NFL coaching carousel and examines the difficulty of conducting interviews for future opportunities while getting ready for the Divisional Round.

Recently, former Saints coach Sean Payton said that his old team wants a mid-to-late first-round pick in exchange for the ability to hire him. The Saints would beg to differ with that characterization.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Saints want a first-round pick and more. Which means another pick, since by rule players can’t be part of the transaction between teams for rights to a coach whose contract has not expired.

The price will be even higher if Carolina becomes the chosen destination.

Payton has interviewed with the Broncos and Texans. He’s due to interview with the Panthers on Monday. The Cardinals had expressed interest; the desire to hire a G.M. possible has derailed that potential destination.

The teams that have received permission to talk to Payton are generally aware of the expectations for compensation. And it’s generally believed that, once Payton picks a new team, everyone will be reasonable when it comes to working out a deal for compensation.

Payton has made it clear he’ll return to coaching, eventually. We reported last week that it’s a 50/50 proposition as to whether he takes another job this year or next year. If he waits, however, he’ll miss out on a full season of a salary expected to be in the range of $20 million to $25 million.