Sean Payton is set to return to the NFL with the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos and Payton’s former team, the New Orleans Saints, reached an agreement on Tuesday to compensate Payton for a draft pick, according to a person familiar with the situation. This clears the way for Super Bowl-winning former Saints coach Payton to exercise his deadline to reach an agreement with the Broncos. Nathaniel fired Hackett As their coach.

The Saints are expected to receive first- and second-round draft picks from the Broncos in exchange for Payton. The Broncos will receive the rights to Peyton, who remained under contract with the Saints, and the rights to a third-round pick after he stepped down as coach following the 2021 season.

Neither team immediately announced the deal. The Broncos and the Houston Texans, who announced the hiring on Tuesday San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans As their coach, they become the second and third of five NFL franchises with head coaching vacancies to make their selections. The Carolina Panthers hired former Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich last week.

Payton, 59, has reportedly been considering a return to the NFL in recent weeks and has interviewed with several teams, reportedly seeking a contract worth $20 million per season. He was out of the league this season, working as an NFL studio analyst for Fox.

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The Broncos, Panthers, Texas and Arizona Cardinals pursued Payton. The Broncos appeared to be the favorites for most of the proceedings. Payton told his teammates earlier that he likes the franchise’s stable ownership and is willing to work with quarterback Russell Wilson.

Some issues arose during Peyton’s interview, a person familiar with the situation said last week. Payton is concerned about a possible power struggle with a member of the franchise’s ownership, the person said. But Payton dismissed such a case last week, tweeting that he had a “great visit” with the Broncos and that “ownership was great.”

Payton appeared on Fox’s pregame show Sunday and said: “I think we’ll know a lot more next week. There’s still a few things going on for these coaches and myself.”

In subsequent conversations, any issues are resolved and any concerns are alleviated, with someone knowledgeable about the discussions. Last weekend, the Broncos and Saints began working on trade terms, the person said.

Trades involving NFL coaches are rare but not unprecedented. Jon Gruden He moved to Tampa Bay from the Raiders in Oakland in 2002 and coached the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in his first season. Previous trades have involved Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells and others.

Payton had a lengthy interview with Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill in Arizona on Thursday. He previously talked to the Texans and Panthers. The options to return to coaching were narrow after Sean McVay chose to stay on as coach of the Los Angeles Rams, the Los Angeles Chargers decided to keep Brandon Staley following a first-round playoff loss, and the Dallas Cowboys stuck with Mike McCarthy.

The Broncos have one of the richest owners in the NFL after a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton bought the team from the Pat Bowlen Trust for a league-record $4.65 billion last year.

The new owners inherit Hackett as a first-year coach and Wilson, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and former Super Bowl winner to the Seattle Seahawks as their quarterback after being traded to the Broncos in the offseason. They doubled Wilson’s deal by signing a five-year, $245 million contract extension.

It didn’t work. Wilson, who turned 34 in November, had the worst season of his career. The Broncos went 5-12 and fired Hackett with two games left. Assistant Jerry Rosberg served as interim coach. Initially, the favorites to replace Hackett were believed to include University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and former Stanford University coach David Shaw.

It’s been a tortuous search process for the Broncos. Team CEO Greg Penner reportedly traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich., to meet with Harbaugh, who announced last week that he would be staying at Michigan. There were reports last week that Ryan had emerged as the top prospect for the Broncos. Denver A Final test Tuesday Ryans to hire.

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The Broncos have missed the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons since winning the Super Bowl to end the 2015 season in Peyton Manning’s final NFL game. Vance Joseph, Vic Fangio and Hackett have had six consecutive seasons spanning head coaching tenures. They tried to solve their quarterback problem by trading for Wilson. Now they’re trying to fix Wilson’s game and turn to Payton to get him back into contention.

He coached the Saints for 15 seasons and posted a 152-89 regular season record, winning 63.1 percent of their games. He took the team to the playoffs nine times and won the Super Bowl in the 2009 season. Payton and Drew Brees formed one of the most successful coaching quarterback tandems in NFL history and revamped the franchise after the Hurricanes were forced to play away from New Orleans in 2005.

Payton returned to the Saints after missing the 2012 season after being suspended for his role in the Bountygate scandal. An NFL team cited him for not doing more to end a system of paying players for injured opponents, a league investigation found. Peyton said It came out in New Orleans He may not finish coaching in January 2022.

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