Broncos ‘granted permission to talk to Sean Payton’ as Denver looks to former New Orleans Saints coach as possible solution to current woes
The New Orleans Saints have given the Broncos permission to interview Sean Payton for the open head coaching job in Denver, ESPN first reported on Saturday.
The Broncos are looking to replace Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired Dec. 26 after going 4-11 in his first season on the job. Denver is 4-12 entering Sunday’s finale at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Payton, 59, stepped down as Saints head coach in January after 15 seasons. The Super Bowl-winning coach has been linked to the job on Twitter since the Broncos made the change.
Since his contract with the Saints is not yet expiring, they would be entitled to compensation from any team that moves forward in contract negotiations with Payton.
Former Saints coach Sean Payton could talk to the Broncos about the vacancy
In 2019, he agreed to a five-year extension that kept him under contract with the Louisiana franchise until the end of the 2024 season.
ESPN said that by an NFL decision, any team that wants to interview Payton in person cannot do so before Jan. 17.
The Saints and Broncos do not have to agree on compensation for the coach before an interview can take place, according to the report.
Following the firing of Nathaniel Hackett, Denver owner and CEO Greg Penner explained that he would be the first to fill the vacancy.
The Denver Broncos officially fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett the day after Christmas
‘I will lead our head coaching search with support from our ownership group and George [Paton]whom I trust as our general manager,’ he said.
‘We recognize and appreciate the championship history of this organization, and we understand that we have not met that standard. Our fans deserve better, and I can’t say enough about their loyalty during a difficult period for our team.’
He had a 152-89 record with the Saints and led them to a Super Bowl XLIV victory following the 2009 season, the only championship in franchise history.
If Payton goes to Denver, he could bring ex-Broncos HC Vic Fangio as his defensive coordinator