Roman Harper: Panthers fans would ‘freakin’ love’ Sean Payton

If there was a foremost expert on the connectedness between the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints and Sean Payton—Roman Harper would definitely be it. So, his opinion seems rather pertinent at the moment.

On Tuesday’s episode of his podcast Bailey & Harper, the former safety told co-host Kyle Bailey that he actually believes there’s a chance Payton could go to Carolina—which was something he did not think was conceivable just a few days ago.

“Sean Payton will probably blow David Tepper’s mind away,” he said. “And up until yesterday—obviously there’s no way Sean Payton ends up with the Carolina Panthers. No way. But now, I’ve completely changed. I think, if I’m [Saints general manager] Mickey Loomis, I make the trade.”

Carolina, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday, requested and received permission to speak with the 59-year-old about their head coaching vacancy. And being that he remains under contract with the Saints through the 2024 season, the Panthers would have to part with some compensation to make the hire possible.

That compensation would be at least a first-round and fifth-round pick according to Harper, who played for both the Saints (under Payton) and Panthers during his 11-year NFL career. Harper, in fact, was a guest at Payton’s wedding in 2021—so he’s pretty tight with his former coach.

Harper went on to say that he also believes Payton—who isn’t exactly loved in the Carolinas—would be embraced by Panthers fans if the move is made.

“All the negative things that people have said about him, in Carolina, for all these years—the smug looks, the arrogance, the cockiness—they would freakin’ love it here,” he said.

“From the equipment guys to everybody in that organization, they would all be different,” Harper added. “Because they’re not used to what he would be. It’s completely different from what Ron [Rivera] is. It’s completely different from what Foxy [John Fox] was. It’s completely, completely different than what Matt Rhule was.”

Well, that’s for sure.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire