After Further Review: Five takes from Saints trade of Sean Payton to Broncos

Sean Payton will now become head coach of the Denver Broncos. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Sean Payton will now become head coach of the Denver Broncos. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)(Danny Karnik | AP)
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:01 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Long process is over

It feels like since we’ve been discussing Sean Payton’s next destination for months now. Ever since the regular season began, he was linked to just about every single team, including his old one, all year long.

In typical Payton fashion, once the interview process began there were even more twists and turns. He interviewed with four teams and felt like at different times he was the lead candidate in at least three of them. The Broncos always felt like the top destination but even they weren’t reportedly all in until the end.

All that is officially behind everyone now. At long last, the speculation about Payton’s future is over. He’s headed to Denver.

Take Two: Organization can officially move on

The best thing about this move is frankly this organization can finally close the door on the Payton era. His presence, despite him being gone, seemed to hover over this organization all year. It had a bigger impact than they wanted to admit. At one point, I even referred to it as the ‘ghost of Sean Payton.’

Then came the offseason where it felt like things were dragging, the longer his situation played out. There was even a fear that after all of this, he would return to FOX and the team would be in this exact same predicament next year.

Thankfully, that won’t happen. Payton is now a Bronco, and the Saints can truly move on.

Take Three: Breaking down the Compensation

The Saints received a 2023 first round pick and a 2024 second round pick in exchange for Payton and their 2024 third round pick.

While, I don’t believe the Saints got hosed in the deal, I did, however, expect the team to get a little more in return.

In our Overtime podcast episode 365, we went through the exact trade scenarios with the Broncos. Given where they were selecting year, we projected Denver’s first and third round picks in 2023 and their second rounder in 2024. The Saints only received two of those picks and still had to send a third rounder back.

Early in the process, Payton said he was expecting a mid-to-late first round pick as compensation. That seemed ridiculous at the time. While it’s true the Saints got more than that, the final tally came closer to Payton’s proclamation than originally thought.

Take Four: Making most of new assets

Though it was not a perfect deal, make no mistake the Saints have legitimate assets now that can help this franchise.

The 29th overall pick puts them in the mix for possibly taking a quarterback. It also gives them some flexibility if they want to package their second round pick at 40 to move up to near the middle of the first round.

If the Saints are able to use that selection to get them a franchise-changer, then it would have absolutely been worth it.

Time will tell if that happens. But they do have better options now than they did a week ago.

Take Five: Other Observations

  • The marriage between Payton and Russell Wilson is an interesting one. They can win together, but on the surface it doesn’t seem like a perfect union.
  • Payton and the Broncos return to the Superdome in 2024.
  • The Jon Gruden-type deal never materialized for Mickey Loomis. It was always unlikely to get that big of a haul.
  • I know there were some in the fan base that held onto the dream that Payton would somehow return to the Saints. Simply put, that was never going to happen.
  • The Senior Bowl never disappoints when it comes to big news breaking during a practice. The Payton news dropped midway through the second session Tuesday.

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