The Denver Broncos are reported as planning to be aggressive in their upcoming head coaching search, per ESPN and Adam Schefter. They have vowed that they will be hiring a proven winner as the team’s next head coach. Former head coach Nathaniel Hackett led the team to a 4-11 record in 2022 before being removed from his first-ever head coaching job.
This doesn’t seem like news, but more just another way to show they acknowledge the mistake they made with Hackett and won’t be doing so again. The surprising thing when it comes to their aggressive nature is that they have said that money will be no object, which, if true, means that they aren’t ruling anybody out as long as they are experienced and have won in the past.
The first name that comes to mind with the Broncos is former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. He quickly realized that retirement wasn’t for him, similar to quarterback Tom Brady, and wants to be coaching in the NFL next season. The two roadblocks in the way are his potential salary and that the Saints still own the rights to him. For the salary, Payton is expected to become one of the highest-paid NFL coaches in history with whatever deal he receives. Denver seems content in paying that.
It is expected that the Saints will require at least a first-round pick to “trade” Payton to his new team. This, the Broncos do not have, as they traded their first-round pick for the upcoming draft to the Seattle Seahawks for quarterback Russell Wilson. If the Broncos do indeed want to hire Payton as their next head coach, their draft pick package may have to be creative.
Payton was the head coach for the Saints from 2006-2011 and then from 2013-2021. The one-year hiatus was due to a suspension from the bounty scandal that came out in 2012. He has a career 152-89 record and won the Super Bowl in 2009. Overall in his career, Payton led his team to the playoffs in nine of the 15 years he coached. Denver last made the playoffs in 2015 when they won the Super Bowl.