As Michigan aims to keep Harbaugh, one report says Payton likes Broncos
If it feels like the Denver Broncos search for a new head coach is changing every hour, that’s because it is.
Mark Maske of The Washington Post is now reporting that the Broncos are the frontrunners for former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. The news comes on the heels of buzz around Jim Harbaugh possibly staying at Michigan again. School president Santa Ono Tweeted on Thursday that the school would like to see their alumni continue to coach the football team.
Harbaugh, thought to be the favorite for the Broncos job, now has another former NFL head coach who has led his team to a Super Bowl appearance competing for who gets it.
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, source says.
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) January 13, 2023
Maske did note that if the Cowboys job were to become open, which Dallas may fire Mike McCarthy if they bow out early in the playoffs, that could change the landscape for Payton. He has a long-standing relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Hiring Payton could require Denver to trade a high draft pick to the Saints since he’s still under contract with them despite his for now retirement. Meanwhile, Harbaugh would require the Broncos to buy him out of his deal in Ann Arbor. It’s looking more and more as though Denver will have their pick of the litter.
The Broncos were not allowed to have in-person interviews with Payton this week. NFL bylaws prohibit in-person interviews with candidates under contract to other teams until after Wild Card weekend. Payton’s first interview is with the Broncos but Houston and Arizona also received permission to interview him.