Sean Payton says Saints seeking ‘mid or later first-round pick’ as trade compensation

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This might be discouraging. Sean Payton is the hottest name in the NFL’s hiring cycle right now as multiple teams schedule interviews with the former New Orleans Saints head coach — and any move will require trade compensation going back to New Orleans.

We’ve discussed some potential trade packages from teams in Payton sweepstakes like the Carolina Panthers as well as the Broncos, Texans, and Cardinals; but now the man himself has suggested what the final return for the Saints may be.

“Mickey Loomis and I have talked already about it,” Payton said during his usual Monday appearance with Colin Cowherd’s show. “I think ultimately the compensation for the Saints will be a mid or later first-round pick.”

Of the teams to have scheduled interviews with Payton, the picks are falling in the late 20’s (for the Broncos, who will receive the San Francisco 49ers’ pick) as well as No. 9 overall (from the Panthers) and No. 12 (from the Texans). Houston and Arizona own the No. 2 and 3 overall picks, respectively, but Payton’s comment suggests those are both off-limits. The Texans may pony up their selection at No. 12, while the Cardinals might be hoping their early pick in the second round (at No. 34, just outside the first frame) or their first rounder next season gets a deal done.

That paints a much starker picture than what many Saints fans have been thinking of in recent weeks, but it lines up with the usual returns we’ve seen from coach trades in the past. But this is a unique situation. Payton could simply choose to pass on any of these jobs and stay in the FOX Sports studio for another year or two, waiting for his contract with the Saints to expire, at which point New Orleans would get nothing. Still, the idea that the Saints may only get a single pick late in the first round in return for the greatest coach in team history is disappointing. Reality sometimes is.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire