The Denver Broncos have officially confirmed Sean Payton as the 20th head coach in franchise history, 40 days after firing rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett at the end of a terrible 5-12 season.
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 are excited to welcome him as our new head coach,” owner and CEO Greg Penner said in a statement.
“Sean knows how to build a championship culture with high expectations. He coaches with intensity and an eye for detail while setting and maintaining high standards. Sean pours his heart and soul into winning with preparation, creativity and a genuine love of the game.’
The Broncos reached an agreement earlier this week to compensate the New Orleans Saints, who still had Payton under contract for two more years.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Saints would receive the Broncos’ first-round pick, No. 29 overall, in this year’s draft and a 2022 second-round pick and that the Broncos would receive the third-round pick. would receive from New Orleans. round selection next year.
Sean Payton has finally been confirmed as the Denver Broncos’ new head coach
Payton has been out of the NFL for a year, but now returns with a tough job in Denver
Nathaniel Hackett helmed a disastrous season in which the Broncos went 5-12
Payton, 59, will be formally introduced Monday at team headquarters. He is already busy interviewing candidates for his coaching staff.
Payton, who worked on the air this season after retiring from the Saints when Drew Brees retired, went 152-89 in 15 seasons with New Orleans and 9-8 in the playoffs. He led the Saints to a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl following the 2009 season.
“It’s rare in any sport to hire a head coach with Sean’s credentials and we appreciate the first-class way the Saints have handled this process,” Penner said. “We also appreciated the opportunity to meet and learn from the other highly qualified, outstanding coaches we interviewed.
“Our goal was to find a strong leader for the Denver Broncos who is focused on winning, and we found him in Coach Payton.”
Payton’s first assignment after building his staff will be to help quarterback Russell Wilson navigate a comeback after the worst statistical season of his 11-year NFL career.
The Broncos went 5–12 last season, extending their playoff drought to seven years. Hackett was fired on December 26 with a 4–11 record, making him just the fifth head coach to fail his first season in NFL history. Interim head coach Jerry Rosburg went 1–1 to conclude the Broncos’ sixth consecutive losing season.
The Broncos may have been the league’s biggest disappointment in 2022, given the blockbuster trade with Seattle for Wilson that cost Denver four premium draft picks and three players, and the hiring of Hackett, who turned out to be the biggest flop in the league. last year’s rental cycle, which oversaw an offense that averaged less than 16 points per game.
Wilson signed a $245 million extension before the season, an extension that does not take effect until next year. He has vowed to do everything he can to bounce back in 2023.
Payton watches from court at the New Orleans Pelicans in April 2022
Flipping the future of Russell Wilson will be high on Payton’s agenda when he starts
The Seahawks own the number 5 ranked Broncos in the upcoming draft. The first-rounder they sent to New Orleans for Payton is number 29 overall. They got that pick last year from the Miami Dolphins in the Bradley Chubb trade. The pick originally belonged to the San Francisco 49ers.
Payton headlined this year’s cycle of head coaching openings. Only five teams were looking for new coaches: the Broncos, Texans, Panthers, Colts and Cardinals.
The Broncos conducted an extensive search, starting with a virtual visit to Jim Harbaugh, who decided to stay at the University of Michigan. Also considered were Dan Quinn, DeMeco Ryans, Raheem Morris, Ejiro Evero, Jim Caldwell and David Shaw. The Texans hired Ryans on Tuesday, who was a finalist in Denver.
Penner led the search with help from limited partner Condoleezza Rice and general manager George Paton.