Texans complete interview with former Saints head coach Sean Payton

Jan 13, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton walks off the field after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Texans complete interview with former Saints head coach Sean Payton

The Houston Texans interviewed former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton Monday night, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Payton has been the most widely discussed name on the coaching market as the NFL offseason begins, and is seemingly coveted by every team with a head coaching vacancy. As the New Orleans Saints head coach for 15 years, Payton went 152-89 and won the 2009 Super Bowl. He led New Orleans to the NFL playoffs nine times in 15 seasons, going 9-8 in those appearances. Sean Payton also led the Saints to a .500 or better record in 11 different seasons.

Payton stepped down as Saints’ head coach after the 2021 season, replaced by Dennis Allen. In its first season since 2005 without Payton at the helm, New Orleans went 7-10 – its first losing season since 2016.

The Texans’ job is understandably attractive to candidates like Payton. Not only will they have in excess of $50 million in salary cap space at their disposal in the offseason, but they also own the No. 2 and No. 12 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. With those picks, Houston is expected to pick a top-tier quarterback (either Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud) and another key contributor to add to its young roster.

Since Payton is still under contract to the Saints, any team looking to hire him will also need to compensate the Saints for him.

During an interview on Fox Sports, Payton said he had spoken to Loomis about compensation, and that he thinks it will be “a mid-to-late first round pick”. He gave the caveat that it could be a little different for each team. It would make sense that the Saints would ask for more from a division rival (like the Panthers) as opposed to a team in a different conference (like the Texans).

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