Denver Broncos Bank On Future By Paying Big For Sean Payton

Denver Broncos Bank On Future By Paying Big For Sean Payton
Image ©Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Ty Bronicel
🗓 Updated
Aug 23rd 2023

Here’s what’s going on in Denver, with the Broncos, and fans are hopeful their next few seasons aren’t dead.

They went all-in on a trade for former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson last March, in a trade that right now looks as lopsided as a porch on the sinking pitch of a mountain in Colorado.

Denver gave up a ton, to put it mildly, including future draft picks in 2022 and 2023.

And now they’re at it again, but this time for a new head honcho: Former Saints Super Bowl-winning coach Sean Payton.

Following a disastrous 4-11 start in 2022, the Broncos fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

Denver finished 5-12.

That was a quick but inevitable relieving of his duties, but it needed to be done. Hackett was clearly in over his head.

Wilson, for his part, as well as the rest of the Denver offense, played poorly.

Following the surprising trade with the Seahawks, the 34-year-old Wilson (he’ll turn 35 in late November) signed a five-year, $242,588,236 contract with the Denver Broncos, including a $50,000,000 signing bonus, $161,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $48,517,647.

And his stats were this, following an injury-plagued season:

3,524 yards passing, 16 TD tosses, three rushing ones, and 11 interceptions.

Not terrible, but not $48-mil-a-year solid, either.

Wilson has been named to nine Pro Bowls and helped lead the Seahawks to two consecutive Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XLVIII – against the Broncos.

This brings us to Denver’s decision to hire Payton.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, reporting: “Denver Broncos owner and CEO Greg Penner said at the start of the team's coaching search he wanted a ‘strong leader for this organization,’ and Tuesday sources told ESPN the Broncos had agreed to a trade with the New Orleans Saints to make Sean Payton the 19th head coach in the franchise's history.

The Saints will receive the Broncos' 2023 first-round pick (No. 29 overall) and 2024 second-round pick for Payton and the Saints' 2024 third-round selection, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Broncos are also expected to make Payton one of the highest-paid head coaches in the league.

"Great fanbase. Great tradition. The ownership group is fantastic, and I love the way they competed last year," Payton told on Tuesday. "It's a great football city like we had in New Orleans."

Because Payton had signed an extension with the Saints in 2019 that was set to run through the 2024 season, the Saints and the Broncos had to negotiate compensation for Denver to sign him as its head coach.”

So, the question is, will it be worth it? Difficult to say, but here’s what future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees had to say about Payton, years after the Saints shocked the world and beat the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV (2010):

“I'm just so grateful to have had the opportunity to play, not just with one coach during that time, but with one Sean Payton.”

If anyone can get Wilson back on track, it’s Payton. Promise ya.

It’s a smart hire and I’d be willing to bet, although I’m pretty sure there are no odds available on this, that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might be a bit dadgummit darn tootin’ mad that he didn’t make the move. Sorry, McCarthy, but even Rodgers knows … you’re not the right guy. (Note: Kept first names out of it).

Anyhow, the Chargers, too, might wonder what they missed out on. We’ll see.

But there aren’t many coaches in the NFL who are as smart, savvy and ballsy as Payton – see: Onside kick to start the second half of that Super Bowl – and the Broncos absolutely will be better this season.

Once the Super Bowl is over – and in the meantime, there is an opinion here – and the new over/under win totals arrive, I’m going with Denver going over. The dude’s too good of a coach, plus, the players will believe in him.

Book it, Dano, Seano, Broncos.

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