What a Broncos trade for Sean Payton would look like

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The Denver Broncos have reportedly received permission to interview Sean Payton. Here’s what it could take for the New Orleans Saints to agree to a trade.

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On Monday, Jan. 9, the NFL world will get a better idea of how many teams will be in need of a head coach. When it comes to the top name available, it very well could be Sean Payton. Last offseason, Payton announced his retirement from the NFL. But recent reports have indicated that Payton is ready to make a jump back into the NFL and has begun forming his coaching staff. But, interested teams will have to trade some NFL Draft capital to the New Orleans Saints.

One team that is in need of a new head coach is the Denver Broncos, who have now entered the coaching carousel for the second consecutive offseason. The team hired former Green Bay Packers head coach Nathaniel Hackett, but a disastrous 4-11 start to the 2022 season, quarterback Russell Wilson drastically underperforming, and a downright embarrassing Christmas Day loss to the Los Angeles Rams led the Broncos to firing him.

On Saturday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Broncos have received permission from the Saints to interview Payton. The catch is that the team can’t interview Payton in-person until Jan. 17, as they were told by the NFL.

So what would it take for the Broncos to acquire Payton?

What a Broncos trade for Sean Payton could look like

Payton is still under contract with the Saints through the 2024 season. On Jan. 1, Schefter reported that the team is looking for a similar return that other teams have received in trades for top-tier head coaches. Some of the names brought up are Jon Gruden, who the Raiders traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002 for two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and $8 million, and Bill Parcells, who was dealt by the New York Jets to the New England Patriots in 2000 in exchange for a first-round, a fourth-round, and a seventh-round pick.

So, it would take at least a first-round pick to interest the Saints in willingly moving on from Payton. But the Broncos are in a difficult situation.

The Broncos dealt their first-round pick in 2023 to the Seattle Seahawks for Wilson. They did, however, get a first-round pick from the Miami Dolphins for linebacker Bradley Chubb. However, that first-rounder originally came from the San Francisco 49ers, who will be picking late in the opening night of the NFL Draft.

Nick Underhill of New Orleans Football Network listed out the Broncos’ picks in the early rounds of the 2023 and 2024 NFL Drafts:

Given how late the first-round pick in 2023 will be, it may be more enticing for the Saints to receive the 2024 first-rounder instead.

If the Broncos were to bring in Payton, one would imagine that he would like to have some draft picks at his disposal to build the team in his image. So, any picks in 2023 may not be ideal. But, they could part ways from draft picks in 2024.

Bringing in Payton for an interview is a big first step for the Broncos. But then, they will have to give the Saints a phone call to see how many draft picks it would take to officially acquire him. It will certainly make for an interesting offseason in terms of the coaching carousel.

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