Sean Payton will be a hot commodity for any team looking for a new manager, but how much will it cost?

Former Super Bowl-winning head coach Sean Payton has every intention of being head coach of an NFL franchise for the 2023 season. The question now becomes for which team, and for how much?

Payton will receive a salary that will make him one of the three highest paid coaches in the NFL, and not every team owner wants that. But for those who do, there’s another cost associated with acquiring Payton: draft compensation.

The Saints own the rights to Payton. Any team that wants to talk to Payton about his vacancy as head coach will first have to put together an acceptable package for New Orleans that the Saints would accept if Payton got the job. And according to history and executives interviewed in the league, there is a wide range of acceptable compensation.

A coach swap hasn’t happened since the Jets sent a fourth-round pick to the Chiefs for Herm Edwards in 2006. Back then, coach swapping was extremely common compared to the NFL d ‘today.

The Patriots traded Bill Parcells to the Jets in 1997 for what was ultimately a future first, future second, and current third- and fourth-round picks. Super Bowl-winning head coach Mike Holmgren went from Green Bay to Seattle for what was a second-round pick. Bill Belichick moved from the Jets to the Patriots for what turned out to be a first-round pick and then some.

And in one of the most unique situations, the Raiders sent Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay for what amounted to two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million in cash.

Almost every executive interviewed for this story felt it would cost at least one first-round pick to get Payton.

“I guess Mickey shoots for a 1, but that’s not realistic in my opinion,” one executive said. “But you can’t argue with history.”

Another said: “You would ask for a 1 but would settle for a 2 and a 4 or an equal combination.”

A third said: “I would ask what the Raiders got from Tampa.”

A fourth said the price would be different depending on the conference. An AFC team would only have to send a second and third over two seasons, while an NFC team would have to send a first, third and fourth over the next two seasons.

And a fifth noted that they would ask for two first-round picks, but could settle for a premium first-round pick if that selection is in or near the top five.

If you think, as one executive does, that the compensation should be between Belichick and Gruden, that means the Saints should ask for a first- and second-round pick.

There are currently three teams without a permanent head coach: Carolina, Indianapolis and Denver. Arizona, Houston and even New Orleans all have varying opening possibilities. Without a surprising retirement or layoff, it’s hard to imagine more than half a dozen will be available this offseason.

The Broncos have the money to get Payton if he’s interested, but they’d probably have to give up their late first-round pick they got from the Bradley Chubb trade. Payton should also be confident that he could fix Russell Wilson, as his contract requires Wilson to be there at least in 2023 and maybe 2024 (without some extremely painful maneuvers).

In Indianapolis and Carolina, keeping interim coaches is a very real possibility, albeit for very different reasons. Colts owner Jim Irsay strongly hints at promoting Jeff Saturday to permanent head coach once the interview process is complete. In Charlotte, team owner David Tepper watched Steve Wilks take a moribund team (without Christian McCaffrey) and become a division contender as players openly campaign for Wilks.

Tepper at one point had a strong interest in Payton, but that love was reportedly unrequited. A team source wondered what Tepper’s appetite for Payton would be given the huge contract, plus huge scrutiny, plus huge draft pick compensation it would take to bring him to the rival NFC South.

Everyone knows Payton would be interested in Cowboys and Chargers jobs. The problem is that both are unlikely to open, at least for now. Mike McCarthy will travel the Cowboys to the NFC South champion on Super Wild Card weekend where they will be a favored team. But a playoff slump with such a good team could make Jerry Jones — at 80 and more than a quarter century separated from even an appearance in a conference title game — nervous for change.

Brandon Staley has the Chargers in the playoffs for the first time in his tenure and still has two weeks left in the season. The franchise is also not known for having deep pockets, and major contracts with Derwin James and JC Jackson in the last offseason, as well as the richest contract in franchise history that it will have to distribute. to Justin Herbert in 2023 mean Dean Spanos may not be too keen on paying for a fired and very expensive coach too.

Arizona might open up, but their quarterback might not be ready for Week 1 of the 2023 season. Payton might not want to go to that organization anyway. Houston has its own organizational issues, but at least it has a slew of picks to send to New Orleans while saving enough to secure its franchise quarterback of the future in April.

And then there is always the house. There’s a chance — albeit slim — that Payton could just return to New Orleans. He is under contract and the Saints underperformed in the first year of Dennis Allen’s four-year contract. This option seems very unlikely, but it should be noted.

If Payton ends up on the sidelines in 2023, it will cost his new team at least a first-round pick and most likely more. In some cases, these are choices that the team is not able to afford at the moment. This type of draft capital is what could be used to get the quarterback Payton needs on the roster — unless of course he takes on future free agent Tom Brady.

No matter what, you have to pay the price to be the boss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *