Broncos head coach Sean Payton not ranked top-15 in the NFL

Jun 7, 2024, 10:58 AM | Updated: 6:35 pm

Denver Broncos leader Sean Payton is one of just seven current head coaches with a Super Bowl ring.

Of course, Payton won that with the New Orleans Saints during the 2009 season.

It puts him in rare company, joining Andy Reid, Mike Tomlin, Sean McVay, John Harbaugh, Mike McCarthy and Doug Pederson as the only active head coaches with a championship.

But that doesn’t mean Payton is a top-7 coach in the NFL right now, at least not according to USA Today’s Jarrett Bailey. Bailey published his list ranking them from 32 to 1, and Payton doesn’t even crack the top-15. He puts Payton at No. 16 in the NFL.

“I don’t want to hear about a ‘Sean Payton bump’ (for the Broncos) – he had plenty of seven and eight-win seasons with Drew Brees,” Bailey writes. “Denver is going to be bad, and Payton will still be around, but it’s okay to acknowledge that this isn’t 2009 Sean Payton anymore.”

That seems a little harsh, but Payton also did have five seasons where he won only seven or eight games with the Saints and Brees at the helm. What Bailey fails to mention is Payton compiled a 241-152 record overall in New Orleans, good for a .631 winning percentage. He made the playoffs nine times.

Elsewhere on the list, it’s no surprise that Reid is No. 1 coming of back-to-back Super Bowl titles. McVay is No. 2 and Tomlin is No. 3. In the AFC West, Jim Harbaugh comes in No. 14 with the Chargers and Antonio Pierce is 25th with the Raiders.

Yes, Sean Payton went 8-9 with the Broncos last season, but it never was going to work with Russell Wilson. Now his legacy in Denver will be tied to Bo Nix, and hopefully a big bump up on this list next year.

To check out the full rankings, click here.


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