The race to sign Sean Payton as head coach is well and truly on, but it appears the Denver Broncos are moving quickly to bring the former New Orleans Saints head coach to Mile High City.
According to recent reports, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has personally reached out to Payton in an effort to convince the kinda-sorta free-agent head coach to come to town.
Denver relieved Nathaniel Hackett of his services the day after Christmas after the team appeared disorganized on offense for much of the season. In fact, the Broncos finished in 21st place in yards per game during Hackett’s term as head coach, ranking dead last in scoring as well.
The Broncos ultimately limped to a 5-12 record in a roller-coaster year that included the massive $245 million Russell Wilson contract extension and the $4.25 billion takeover of the franchise.
Denver Broncos head coach rumors: Sean Payton asking for Bill Belichick money to take up job
Rumors have been swirling that Payton is demanding a yearly salary in the range of $20m to $25m to come on board as head coach.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reportedly takes home $20m a year. Payton’s demands, therefore, would place him right up there with the highest-paid head coaches in the league.
Per Sportico, Pete Carroll is the second-highest paid head coach in the NFL, earning $15 million, while Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay comes in at #3 with $14 million in salary.
There is, of course, no salary cap for coaches. And considering the fact that the new Broncos leadership has signaled a tendency to cough up the money for the right personnel, Payton could very well see himself the subject of a charm offensive from the franchise.
As things stand, however, the Carolina Panthers are also being credited with a strong interest in Payton. Franchise owner David Tepper (worth a reported $17 billion) faces another summer of uncertainty at the head coach position and seemingly has an eye on bringing Payton to town.