After months of speculation, Sean Payton is returning to the NFL to coach the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos made his hiring official Tuesday, sending the New Orleans Saints, Payton’s former team, in first-round compensation in this year’s draft and second round for 2024.
The compensation was necessary because Payton was still under contract with New Orleans, despite not being their coach that season.
After a miserable season, many Broncos fans on social media seem very happy.
Yes, and it seems the Denver fans are loving this trade. They look at it like trading Bradley Chubb (six months) for Sean Payton. I think they’re right, it’s a win for both teams.
— Total D (@drewbreess) January 31, 2023
Good for Denver and good for Russ. I know NFL fans and media can’t remember the last 5 seconds, but Russ with a coach like Sean Payton combined with Devers’ defense brings 2013 Seahawks vibes. https://t.co/0Apk4kFHO8
— Zack (@ZackAbnet) January 31, 2023
However, there are a number of people who believe Payton’s arrival won’t do much to solve Denver’s woes.
If that makes anyone feel any better, it sounds like Sean Payton was #3 in Denver.
There are clearly some red flags that we cannot see.
— Jireh | k1 Stan (@jirashon) January 31, 2023
I hope Sean Payton can pull rabbits out of a hat because he’s got a washed QB and few draft picks for the next few years. #broncos #Let’s ride #notworth the price
— Troy DeLatte (@Tmoney2003) January 31, 2023
I thought the Broncos were in a bad position initially, and now they’ve traded MORE draft Capitol for Sean Payton…
You have to know that Russ is the problem, right… RIGHT?
— Michael Maclane (@Michael_Maclane) January 31, 2023
The Broncos traded for future Hall of Famer quarterback Russell Wilson last offseason, prompting many observers to declare them Super Bowl contenders.
But those expectations were shattered when the team pulled off one of their worst offenses in recent memory, finishing just 5-12 and missing the playoffs.
Former head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired late in the season, but it was clear Denver needed a fix, and so did Wilson.
He had the worst season of his stellar 11-year career, registering 16 touchdown passes, 11 interceptions and an 84.4 passer rating.
Unless he gets back into shape next season, there won’t be much Payton can do to help the Broncos.
But if Wilson looks like Wilson again, Payton might just be what they need.
His Saints teams boasted another future Hall of Famer under center, Drew Brees, and they were often among the best offensive teams in the NFL.
Brees and Payton won the Super Bowl in the 2009 season, and if Wilson plays like him, the Broncos can at least make the playoffs for the first time since Payton Manning’s last season in 2015.
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