The Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints have agreed to a trade that will allow Denver to hire Sean Payton as its new head coach, the Broncos announced Friday.
“Sean Payton is an outstanding leader and Super Bowl champion with a brilliant offensive mind. He shares our commitment to winning championships for Broncos Country and we’re excited to welcome him as our new head coach,” Broncos Owner and CEO Greg Penner said in a statement.
Payton coached the Saints to victory in Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 and led the team for 15 years before stepping down as head coach after the 2021 season. Because Payton was still under contract with New Orleans, a trade was required for the Broncos to obtain Payton’s services.
“It is rare in any sport to hire a head coach with Sean’s credentials and we appreciate the first-class manner in which the Saints approached this process,” Penner said.
The details of the trade, as announced by the Saints, include Denver sending its 2023 first round draft pick and 2024 second round pick to New Orleans in exchange for Payton and the Saints’ 2024 third round pick.
“I was excited for us, I’m excited for Sean,” Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland said Wednesday.
“I’m in charge of the draft, so more draft picks for our staff and our team. That’s exciting. So, I’m looking forward to getting to work a little bit more in the first round. I thought it was really good compensation.”
Payton will replace Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired before completing his first season as an NFL head coach after guiding the team to just four wins in 15 games. Denver finished the 2022 season 5-12.
The Broncos will introduce Payton as the team’s 20th head coach at a press conference Monday.