It’s not surprising to see the Carolina Panthers doing their homework on Sean Payton. Being both an experienced leader and an offensive guru, this former Super Bowl-winning coach brings everything owner David Tepper wants to the table.
But, for starters, Payton will come at a cost unlike the rest of the team’s head coaching candidates—monetarily and asset-wise. Since the 59-year-old is under contract with the New Orleans Saints through the 2024 campaign, the Panthers will have to fork over some high-end draft capital to their divisional rival in addition to the lucrative contract he’ll command.
Plus, the hiring of Payton may rub quite a few Panthers fans the wrong way. Between the infamous bounty scandal and the 15 years’ worth of battles, Payton probably isn’t the most beloved guy in Charlotte.
Payton’s history, though, is almost as decorated as they come—as he’s tallied up a Lombardi Trophy, six NFC South titles and a 152-89 mark as a head coach. His reputation as an offensive mastermind holds a lot of water—as he consistently orchestrated and innovated one of the league’s most feared offenses and helped push quarterback Drew Brees to the doorstep of Canton, Ohio.
Such an investment would bring the franchise the stability they’ve been lacking since the days of Ron Rivera, and it would also give the Panthers the most skilled offensive play caller they’ve ever had on their sidelines.