Longtime New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will become the next head coach of the Denver Broncos as part of a trade the two teams agreed to Tuesday, according to multiple reports, in a deal that will unite the Super Bowl-winning coach with Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson in Denver.
The Saints will send Payton and a 2024 third-round draft pick to Denver in exchange for the Broncos’ 2023 first-round pick and a second-round pick next year, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
Payton left the Saints after the 2021 season, but the team still held his rights since he signed a contract running through 2024.
Payton coached the Saints from 2006-2021—a stretch where the Saints were one of the most dominant teams in the NFL, capped by winning the Super Bowl in the 2009 season.
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The Broncos will rely on Payton to bring the best out of Wilson, who dominated for a decade with the Seattle Seahawks before having the worst season of his career with the Broncos last year, posting a 4-11 record as the team’s starting quarterback. Denver acquired Wilson in a trade with the Seahawks last year in exchange for multiple first-round draft picks.
Payton is only the third coach to be traded after winning a Super Bowl, following Bill Parcells’ 1997 trade from the New England Patriots to the New York Jets and the 1999 deal sending Mike Holmgren from the Packers to the Seahawks. A potential Payton deal was one of the biggest storylines looming heading into the NFL offseason, after the Saints gave Payton permission to interview with several teams, including the Broncos, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers. Payton spent the 2022 season as an NFL analyst for Fox Sports.
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