The Denver Broncos have been granted an interview request with Sean Payton, meaning the New Orleans Saints offseason is already off and running before their 2022 season has wrapped up. Now, it’s still going to take some time before anything materializes here. Payton can’t speak with Denver in-person until Jan. 17, per NFL rules.
Additionally, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Saints failed to reach an agreement on trade compensation with the Broncos prior to approving the interview request. And that’s odd at best. In most situations like this, both sides would float offers to find something acceptable to both parties before advancing to the next stage of trade talks.
That the Saints chose not to do that suggests they either feel confident enough to get back what they want without first asking for it or that they don’t anticipate Payton taking Denver’s job offer seriously. Or maybe we’re reading too deeply into it. There’s no rule forcing them to agree to trade compensation beforehand; it’s just best practice.
But we’re losing sight of things: what can the Broncos offer in a trade anyway? Players can’t be involved in trades for coaches, only draft picks and cash, so here are the picks Denver can put on the table in this year’s draft:
2023 Round 1 (from San Francisco 49ers, via Miami Dolphins)
2023 Round 3
2023 Round 3 (from Indianapolis Colts)
2023 Round 4
2023 Round 5
2023 Round 6 (from Pittsburgh Steelers)
And here are Denver’s draft picks next year:
2024 Round 1
2024 Round 2
2024 Round 3
2024 Round 4
2024 Round 5
2024 Round 7 (from Los Angeles Rams)
That’s plenty of ammunition to put towards a Payton trade, which may explain the Saints’ nonchalance in waving them through to talk shop with him. We’ll see if Payton ultimately likes the Broncos opening enough to accept it. This is just an important first step.