Sean Payton is far and away the most qualified candidate in the Carolina Panthers’ search for a new head coach. So owner David Tepper, being the seasoned and successful businessman that he is, knows he’ll have to pony up.
And according to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, that’s exactly what the billionaire is prepared to do. On Wednesday—about 48 hours ahead of Payton and Tepper’s meeting in Manhattan—Maske provided us with this interesting, yet pretty unsurprising little nugget.
A Super Bowl winner and a six-time NFC South champion, Payton possesses a résumé that very few coaches in this league—let alone Carolina’s other targets—currently do. Before taking the 2022 campaign off as a studio analyst for FOX sports, the 59-year-old headed the Saints for 15 seasons—molding them, more times than not, into a perennial contender.
But, in addition to the hefty contract and roster control Payton would likely command, Tepper and the Panthers must also fork over some compensation to New Orleans for such a hire. Being that Payton remains under contract with the Saints through the 2024 campaign, the move can only be completed through a trade with their division rivals.
So, if Tepper decides to give his next head coach a czar-like rule, at least this one would have some NFL experience.