Sean Payton discusses what Saints would want in trade compensation for his services

If the Arizona Cardinals decide they want to make Sean Payton their next head coach, they might not have to give up the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft to the Saints to make it happen.

During an appearance Monday on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, the former Saints head coach said trade compensation for his services would likely be “a mid or later first-round pick,” adding, "We can arrive in that in a lot of different ways.”

Payton, 59, stepped down as coach of the Saints following the 2021 season but remains under contract with the team for the next two years, meaning any club that hires him will have to reward New Orleans with some sort of agreeable trade compensation in the form of a draft pick or picks.

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Sean Payton coached the New Orleans Saints from 2006-21, winning a Super Bowl following the 2009 season.
Sean Payton coached the New Orleans Saints from 2006-21, winning a Super Bowl following the 2009 season.

Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill, who fired Kliff Kingsbury last Monday, has already asked and received permission from the Saints to interview Payton for the job. Payton has an interview with the Broncos lined up for Tuesday morning in Los Angeles and he told Cowherd he will interview with the Texans and Panthers later this week. Payton did not mention the Cardinals, but he is expected to meet with Bidwill at some point this coming weekend or next week.

Houston holds the No. 2 overall pick ahead of Arizona, Carolina has the No. 9 pick and Denver has the San Francisco 49ers' selection, which will be later in the first round as they are in the playoffs. Although it will be Mickey Loomis, the Saints’ executive vice president and general manager, who negotiates the compensation package, Payton suggested teams that are interested in him could get creative in what they offer Loomis.

“Each team’s got different ammo or different pick selections,” Payton said, “and it could be a future (first-round pick) maybe where you have to throw in something.”

The Cardinals, for instance, could offer the Saints the third pick in the second round of this year’s draft and perhaps another pick in a later round or an additional second- or third-round pick in 2024.

Payton, who indicated he has spoken with Loomis about plausible trade compensation, said the top two elements he is seeking from in the next team he coaches are solid ownership and the right quarterback. He has said previously that he is a fan of Kyler Murray and that he has ideas on how to get the best out of the young QB to maximize his skills.

Murray, though, might not be ready to start the 2023 season after recently undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee.

Payton said any potential trade compensation is “something that comes up later in the (hiring) process,” adding, “being that I haven’t interviewed with any of these people yet, it would just be speculating.”

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Sean Payton on what Saints would want in trade compensation