Does anyone really know where Sean Payton will be coaching next year? The Washington Post reports that the Denver Broncos appear to be out in front, but NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that the Arizona Cardinals might be his favored destination. If there’s anything to take away from this, it might be that Payton likes all of his options, and he’s making sure everyone knows that.
It’s good for him and the New Orleans Saints to have more serious contenders in the mix. That gives Payton more leverage to get a top-of-market contract from his new team, and a side effect of that might push those teams into ponying up more draft picks in a trade to get him. Payton has the final say on where he’ll be traded, so it’ll be tough to engineer a bidding war, but we can’t fault him for trying.
So what appeals to him about Arizona? Pelissero adds that Payton is a fan of Cardinals franchise quarterback Kyler Murray, and that the potential to essentially build his own front office is intriguing. Without a general manager in place, Payton could bring a personnel executive from New Orleans with him like Khai Harley or Jeff Ireland. Talk about a friendly working environment.
But, again, we’ve got conflicting reports. Maybe the Broncos like Payton more than he likes them. Maybe he does value those things about the Cardinals. Maybe no one should be reading into all of this so soon. He hasn’t formally met with any teams for a sit-down interview yet, and those meetings are going to be crucial in determining how this plays out. For now, grab some popcorn (or a slice of king cake and refill your coffee) and enjoy the show.