Report: Sean Payton is top preference for Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos as next head coach

On3 imageby:Andrew Graham01/24/23

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Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 02: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints reacts against the Dallas Cowboys during a game at the the Caesars Superdome on December 02, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos front office and owners are apparently in agreement with quarterback Russell Wilson about who the franchise should target to hire as the new head coach, according to Fox’s Colin Cowherd. And the name in question isn’t a terribly big surprise: Sean Payton.

The former long-tenured New Orleans Saints head coach has become a popular name this cycle after stepping away from coaching ahead of the 2022 season. And Cowherd was emphatic that the Broncos and Wilson want him to be the head coach.

“I have been told the Broncos have made a decision: They want Sean Payton. Russell Wilson has told the Broncos owners he wants Sean Payton,” Cowherd said.

So the Broncos want Payton and Wilson wants Payton, according to Cowherd. But he questioned whether Payton wants the Broncos and Wilson.

“Here’s the dilemma: According to an NFL exec, Denver’s got the best tradition, the new owners seem aggressive, they’re willing to spend, but I think Russell Wilson’s washed,” Cowherd said. “And the lack of draft capital holding them back. The defense is very good but [Patrick] Mahomes and [Justin] Herbert aren’t going anywhere in that division.”

Cowherd argued that the situation in Denver isn’t comparable to one like the New York Giants, where Brian Daboll came in and got Daniel Jones playing to a level where the Giants made the playoffs.

That isn’t replicable in Denver, according to Cowherd, because the problems with Jones were football issues. The issues with Wilson, Cowherd said, are off-the-field and interpersonal, not just a scheme tweak away from being solved.

Thus, he came to a startling conclusion about what he’d do in the position Payton might find himself in, being offered a gaudy sum of money to coach a potentially unsalvageable situation.

“I think if I’m Sean Payton, $25 million is a lot of money. I think I’d pass,” Cowherd said.