The Broncos and Saints saved the NFL world from further speculation Tuesday, finalizing a trade that will trade Sean Payton to Denver to work with Russell Wilson after retiring after the 2021 season.
Payton netted the Saints a pair of picks in exchange for a pick being sent back to the Broncos, but it does give the Saints a first-rounder next year after having previously traded theirs to the Eagles.
For the Broncos, it gives them the marquee coach they were searching for this offseason after firing Nathaniel Hackett before the end of his first year. Payton has experience coming in and turning a franchise around — he took the Saints to the NFC Championship in 2006 after inheriting a 3-13 team — and the Broncos need that magic after Wilson’s disastrous first year in Denver.
Payton spent last year working Sundays on Fox as an analyst, but it was widely thought he would be lured back into coaching after the year was over. That became increasingly evident as the season waned and discussions started heating up, often involving Payton himself.
Sean Payton trade details
Here’s a look at what this trade looks like, per Adam Schefter:
- Broncos receive: Head coach Sean Payton, Saints 2024 third-round pick
- Saints receive: Broncos 2023 first-round pick (No. 30 overall), Broncos 2024 second-round pick
According to Schefter, this was one of two options the Saints had to choose from. The other hypothetical trade would have been the Broncos’ 2024 first-rounder and their 2023 fourth, with only Payton being sent by the Saints.
Clearly, the Saints valued having that first round pick this season. The 30th pick was originally the 49ers’, but it was moved the Dolphins, Broncos, and now Saints.
The turnaround in Denver is going to have to be swift, particularly with an extension likely being the next order of business. Both teams benefit from this deal in the short-term, but expectations are going to be sky-high for Denver for the second year in a row. After the first go-around didn’t go particularly well, the Broncos are once again taking big swings.