19.5 C
New York

Broncos reach deal with Saints for Sean Payton

- Advertisement -


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos owner and CEO Greg Penner said early in the team’s coaching search that he wanted a “strong leader for this organization,” and sources told Tuesday ESPN that the Broncos had agreed to a trade with New Orleans. Saints to make Sean Payton the 19th head coach in franchise history.

Because he signed an extension with the Saints in 2019 that was to last the entire 2024 season, the Saints and Broncos had to negotiate compensation for Denver to sign Payton as head coach.

The Saints will receive the Broncos’ 2023 first-round pick (No. 29 overall) and their 2024 second-round pick for Payton and the Saints’ 2024 third-round pick, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter .

The Broncos are also expected to make Payton one of the highest paid head coaches in the league.

- Advertisement -

The Broncos traded their first-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks in last year’s blockbuster trade to acquire Russell Wilson, but then acquired a first-round pick from the Miami Dolphins in the trade that sent Bradley Chubb to Miami last season. That pick originally belonged to the San Francisco 49ers, who sent the pick to Miami in the trade that allowed them to pick Trey Lance in the 2021 draft.

The trade puts the Saints in the first round of the 2023 draft. New Orleans traded its 2023 selection to the Philadelphia Eagles in a draft pick trade last year.

Payton, who was the NFL’s Coach of the Year in 2006, will be Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired Dec. 26, the day after the Broncos’ dismal 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium that dropped Denver to 4-11. They finished the season 5-12 as interim coach Jerry Rosburg closed out the year.

Payton was 152-89 in his 15 seasons as Saints head coach, including a Super Bowl XLIV win over the Indianapolis Colts. Payton did not coach this season and was an analyst for Fox Sports.

Payton will be tasked with fixing the league’s worst-performing offense in 2022 as Wilson finished with a career-low 16 touchdown passes and was sacked 55 career times. The Broncos have missed the playoffs seven straight seasons and have fired three head coaches — Vance Joseph, Vic Fangio and Hackett — since January 2019.

Kicker Brandon McManus is the only player on the current roster who was in uniform for the Broncos’ last playoff game — their Super Bowl 50 win to close out the 2015 season.

Payton originally interviewed Broncos officials on January 17 and was the fifth of eight candidates initially interviewed in the first wave. Penner had put forward his hand before the search began to find out why someone of Payton’s experience might end up with the job.

“Obviously the Xs and Os are important, but we need a strong leader for this organization that is focused on winning,” Penner said after Hackett was fired. “It starts with culture. It instills a sense of responsibility and discipline. We need an identity in attack. At the start, it has to be about culture and leadership. Those characteristics are what we build on. we will focus the most.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, former Stanford head coach David Shaw, former Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris and former Atlanta Lions coach Detroit Jim Caldwell were all former NFL head coaches originally interviewed by the Broncos. San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who is set to become the Houston Texans coach, was the last of eight candidates interviewed.

Payton’s Saints teams, with Drew Brees at quarterback, have consistently been among the best in the league on offense. The Saints won at least 10 games nine times during his tenure and went to the playoffs nine times.

Brees was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection under Payton’s tenure with the Saints. Brees passed 4,000 yards passing 12 times and passed 5,000 yards passing five times. Brees led the league in passing seven times.

Payton was suspended, without pay, for the 2012 season as punishment after a league investigation the Saints had a bounty program to pay players for hits on opposing players.

The Broncos finished last in the league in scoring this season (16.9 points per game), last in the league in third conversions, scored 16 points or fewer in 11 games and lost nine games by seven points or fewer.

Hackett’s firing brought an abrupt end to the shortest tenure of any non-interim head coach in franchise history. Penner had decreed after Hackett’s dismissal “we have to get it right”.

At one point this season, the Broncos featured the No. 1 scoring defense and the No. 32 scoring offense. The Broncos’ current playoff drought is also the franchise’s longest since the early years of the franchise. franchise, when it missed the playoffs between 1960 and 1976.

That’s a far cry from Hall of Famer Pat Bowlen’s three-decade run as owner, when the Broncos went to more Super Bowls (seven) than they lost seasons. This season is also the fifth time the Broncos have averaged less than 20 points per game in the past seven years. Until Hackett’s firing, Josh McDaniels had the shortest tenure as the team’s non-interim head coach in the post-AFL/NFL merger era. He was fired in 2010 with four games remaining in his second season on the job. The Broncos were 3-9 when he was fired.

Hackett, 42, was hired to much fanfare last January after serving three seasons as the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator under Matt LaFleur. At the time, Paton called Hackett “a dynamic leader and coach whose intelligence, innovation and charisma impressed us from the start of the process.”

Shortly after Hackett’s hiring, the Broncos traded five draft picks, including two first-round and two second-rounders, along with three players to the Seattle Seahawks to acquire Wilson. Wilson signed a five-year, $245 million contract extension just before the start of the season.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles