The Houston Texans’ coaching candidates all fit a particular profile — all except one.
While the Texans have interviewed younger coordinators for their coaching vacancy, the club’s sixth such search in team history, Sean Payton sticks out as an experienced and overly qualified coach.
According to Jeremy Fowler from ESPN, the Texans would be considered as the best option for Payton if he were to walk away from his NFL analyst role with FOX Sports and return to the sidelines.
It’s a rebuild, but one Payton would have time to make into a champion. This is a job on Payton’s radar. And, I’m guessing Houston is desperate enough for a winner that he could have major influence on personnel.
Even though the Texans are 3-13-1 and have not had a winning season since 2019, what makes Houston an appealing job is their potential. The Texans are tied with the most selections in the 2023 NFL draft with 12, which includes two Round 1 picks at Nos. 2 and 12 overall. The Texans also have $40 million in salary cap space to upgrade their roster with proven veterans. That also doesn’t include budding talent on the Texans’ roster led by safety Jalen Pitre, guard Kenyon Green, and running back Dameon Pierce.
If the Texans were to hire Payton, it would cost them. The former Super Bowl XLIV-winning coach is still under contract with the Saints despite retiring. Once Payton returns to the NFL, the contract is activated, and a team would have to give up compensation for Payton’s services. A mid-Round 1 pick is thought to be part of the trade package needed to get Payton. The Texans do have a second Round 1 pick to spare from their trade with the Cleveland Browns in the 2022 offseason.