Sean Payton says he’s looking for a ‘perfect marriage’ at QB

Feb 9, 2024, 12:11 PM | Updated: 1:06 pm

LAS VEGAS — As Valentine’s Day nears, Sean Payton is looking for love.

At quarterback, that is.

“You’re looking to fall in love with a quarterback?” asked former NFL Network host Kay Adams, now hosting the “Up and Adams” show distributed via YouTube.

“Yeah,” Payton said.

And a moment later, Payton got wistful, referencing Luke Combs’ viral duet during the Grammys of “Fast Car” with the song’s original artist, Tracy Chapman.

“You know that expression, ‘We’re looking for someone that looks at us like — who is the artist who sang with Tracy Chapman the other night?”

He was informed it was Combs.

“We’re looking for that … you’re looking for that perfect marriage,” Payton said.

“You want a perfect marriage?” replied Adams.

“Yeah. But that’s not just at quarterback,” Payton said. “You’re looking for that at receiver. You’re looking for that at the offensive line.

“And I think that’s still unsolved for us.”


Outward signs would indicate not, but Sean Payton continued to keep the door ajar on bringing Wilson back.

When asked what he was looking for in a quarterback, Payton mentioned “that obsession, that work ethic.”

“And those are the things — like, Russ and I have a great relationship,” Payton said. “And his ability to work and train, all of those things, like, we have to measure all of that versus what’s available in the draft and what’s available in free agency.”

That discussion starts Monday, Payton said. That’s when draft meetings begin.

“So, everything you’ve heard and read about us, ‘Oh, we’re gonna trade up, trade down’ — I can’t tell you the jersey numbers of these rookie quarterbacks,” Payton said. “We haven’t even seen ‘em yet.

“So, our plan — to do this thing the right way — is to really assess, ‘Hey, the quarterback position. Are we gonna be able to find it in the draft? Are we gonna find it in free agency? Or is it in the building?

And in regards to what’s in the building …

“I think that decision is going to happen quicker than later relative to Russ,” Payton said.

But it happens in light of what the Broncos think of rookie and veteran quarterbacks who could be available, too.

“And so, Monday, after the Super Bowl, we’re in 10-hour draft meetings. And I’m sure one of those days will start with the quarterbacks and we’re gonna read USC, North Carolina, whatever that order is.

“And here’s what I do know. Let’s say, hypothetically, that there are six or seven that are taken in the first round. How many end up hitting on? Two? So, are we in love with any of them? Or do we just — if you’re not careful, and you get on this NFL van and you’re on the van and in the internet and the experts and it’s like, ‘Oh, this is who you’re supposed to take.’

“And don’t get on the NFL van. Just listen to it. Because if we get on the NFL van, we never draft Alvin Kamara. If we get on the NFL van, we start making decisions based on just —“

He picked that up later.

“You’ve gotta be able to pay attention to the wisdom and the noise on the van and hear it as far as it helps us relative to the information,” Payton concerned. “But if we like one of these guys a lot, then, I’m unconcerned where people think we should draft him. Unconcerned.”

So, perhaps the “NFL van” says that Bo Nix isn’t worthy of being picked at No. 12 overall. But if the Broncos see it that way, they won’t hesitate to grab him.

But then it’s a question of how to find the “perfect marriage.” Or if that is even possible with the available quarterbacks. The Broncos don’t have the answers yet. But their personnel department has been on the search for a while, as evidenced by multiple meetings with Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt, for example.

Monday, Payton and the coaches step in. And decisions will follow.



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