We knew this was going to be on the way, the New Orleans Saints are getting calls about former head coach Sean Payton as the NFL’s coaching carousel heats up. The Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans have requested permission to speak to the Super Bowl-winning coach. The good news for New Orleans is that both suitors have some appealing capital to offer.
While the Cardinals’ No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft is unlikely to be on the table, at least not with out a little more persuasion by the Saints. But their early second round pick and a future first rounder could be a good start for a lucrative return package in the Big Easy. As for the Texans, they have the No. 2 overall selection along with No. 12. The latter selection is the perfect starting place for a trade deal. Tack on some additional and future capital and things could move quickly.
That’s assuming of course that Payton wants to work with either organization. That will be the most important element of any potential trade agreements. Arizona would be an intriguing opportunity for Payton who could bring an executive he’s familiar with along with him to assume their own general manager role. Jeff Ireland and Khai Harley would be prime candidates there. As for Houston, the freedom they have allowed to previous coaches like Bill O’Brien is a good measuring stick for the freedom that would be allotted to someone like Payton, widely considered a future Hall of Fame head coach.
More teams are likely to enter the fold. First round playoff exits for the Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins could create more participants in what could turn into a bit of a bidding war. That would be a great development for the Saints.