After a year covering the league in sunny Los Angeles, California, former New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton could be re-entering the coaching realm.
From rumors of his return in the fall to his intimate interviews with multiple organizations in January, Payton’s return to the league is no longer fantasy, but also not certain. The Super Bowl-winning coach supposedly has multiple offers on the table, both as a head coach and a broadcaster.
With all of the noise surrounding his future, we asked the Canal Street Chronicles staff to give their predictions on where Payton will land next season. Here’s what they had to say.
Prediction: Denver Broncos
Reason: Originally, I thought that Payton would choose the Chargers, but it seems like neither party is interested in the other, so Denver makes the most sense to me. I believe Sean left New Orleans because he ultimately did not want to deal with a massive rebuilding. So why would he leave his comfy chair at Fox for Houston or Arizona, two teams that need a massive rebuilding? You have some talented playmakers on offense and a top-10 defense in Denver.
Prediction: Denver Broncos or FOX
Reason: I think his return all depends on the compensation. The Saints want draft picks and Payton wants to be paid well. There have been rumors that he is happy at FOX and will only return to coach if it is a 100% fit and this is an “all or nothing situation.” That being said, Denver seems the team to be willing to go “all in” for Payton but if they don’t, I really think Sean returns to FOX for now.
Prediction: Miami Dolphins or Denver Broncos
Reason: Sean Payton’s statement before the AFC and NFC Championship games made it sound like returning to Fox was his most likely spot. This is likely smoke and mirrors to drive up his contact. The Broncos are the most likely landing spot, but rumors of another team have emerged recently. The Dolphins could very easily be the team that is “getting things sorted” before making a deal. If the Dolphins are that team, it would be interesting to see what they do with current Head Coach Mike McDaniel. A package of McDaniel and draft picks would be very intriguing for the Saints, especially for a team needing life on the offensive side of the ball.
Prediction: Broncos or FOX
Reason: Sean wants a franchise QB. Assumedly, he wants a solid defense to take some pressure off his play-calling and QB. Denver had a pretty stout defense all season. Top 10 in rushing defense, T-11th scoring defense. These numbers would’ve been much better with a competent offense. One obstacle is, I’m not sure if Denver has the appropriate compensation to trade for SP with just one (later) first round pick. They’d probably have to look into a separate (but not so separate) trade consisting of a player or two. Jerry Jeudy would be very ideal. I’d say Arizona is the second-most likely destination for Sean within the league, another franchise QB and somewhat decent defense. If Denver doesn’t work out, Sean probably goes back to TV. I don’t see him forcing something to work out.
Prediction: Denver Broncos or Houston Texans
Reason: Denver seems like the obvious choice with the young core as well as Russell Wilson as the quarterback. There’s so much less of a rebuild and they’re truly only a few pieces away from being in the playoffs.
But the Texans are so intriguing.
Houston has so much draft capital and cap space that Sean could build the team the way HE wants it to look, but that means going through a rebuild and is Sean willing to do that at his age? I don’t know.
TV also isn’t ruled out, but regardless of what happens right now, the Saints cannot just let SP walk out of their facility without getting compensated for him.
Prediction: Arizona Cardinals or Denver Broncos
Reason: Boy it’s been a rough offseason for Sean Payton. Many of us expected Payton to be heavily sought after for his services, and the reality is everything has blown up in Payton’s face. Teams like the Chargers and Cowboys are sticking with their coaches after successful seasons. The Panthers and Texans both met with Payton and opted to go in a different direction. That just leaves the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos as the viable options.
The Arizona Cardinals have the franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray, who will miss at least the start of the season. The 3rd overall pick in the draft and in what many consider a relatively open NFC, Payton could make an immediate impact with the Cardinals in year 1.
With Payton hinting that we will find out a lot more about his situation this coming week, the Denver Broncos just seem like a natural fit. You have a top 5 defense in the NFL along with a slew of offensive talent including running back Javonte Williams and wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. Of course, having Russell Wilson is a plus especially considering Wilson apparently reached to Payton to get his pitch in the come help Wilson in what was certainly his career low in the mile high city.
Prediction: Denver Broncos
Reason: The Broncos have been the most aggressive and active team in pursuing Payton this offseason. They have a good core on offense with Russell Wilson and two good WRs in Jeudy and Sutton. Payton would find success with this group and hopefully the Saints would get a good package of draft picks in return. Going from Nate Hackett to Payton could do for the Broncos what going from Urban Meyer to Doug Pederson did for the Jaguars this year. They have the talent to be a great team but bad coaching and play calling last year got them off to a slow start and then the rest of the season fell by the wayside. If he goes to the Broncos we can at least take some solace in the fact that he will be in the AFC rather than the NFC, but it will still hurt to see Sean Payton coaching for anyone other than the New Orleans Saints.
Where do you think Sean Payton will be next season?
This poll is closed