BRONCOS

Report: Denver Broncos receive permission to interview Sean Payton for coaching job

Jan 7, 2023, 3:38 PM

The chase is on.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday, the Broncos sought and received permission from the New Orleans Saints to interview Sean Payton for their vacant-head coaching position.

Denver won’t be able to interview Payton immediately. Schefter reported that the earliest the Broncos can interview Payton will be on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Even though Payton did not coach this season, permission was necessary because Payton resigned from the Saints last year with three years remaining on his contract. Thus, if any team wants to hire Payton before 2025, it must not only seek permission, but provide the Saints compensation if it wants to hire him.

That could involve surrendering at least first-round pick.

Payton departed the Saints last year after 15 seasons — nine of which saw postseason bids. The Saints racked up nearly twice as many playoff appearances in his years on the job as they did in their first 39 seasons, when they went to the playoffs five times. New Orleans never finished worse than 7-9 on his watch.

Much of that success had to do with signing Drew Brees in 2006, early in Payton’s first offseason. Brees and Payton flourished together, quickly marshaling a one-year turnaround that transformed a team that went 3-13 the previous season into a 10-6 division champion.

In Payton’s only season without Brees, New Orleans finished 9-8, only missing the playoffs due to a tiebreaker. He left New Orleans with a robust average of 10 wins per 16-game season.

Payton could have other suitors as the days progress and the coaching landscape settles following any potential changes as the regular season concludes.

However, the Broncos are the first to jump in the queue.

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