Denver Broncos reportedly make deal with New Orleans Saints to hire Sean Payton as head coach

Sean Payton will join the Denver Broncos as head coach after they agreed compensation with the 59-year-old’s former team, the New Orleans Saints, according to reports from ESPN and NFL Network.

Payton was under contract with the Saints, despite stepping down last season and was working as a broadcaster this season.

In a 15-year stint with the franchise, he took the Saints to the playoffs nine times winning a single Super Bowl in 2010.

“This was the opportunity I was looking for,” Payton said to “It’s a great fanbase and great tradition. The ownership group is fantastic, and I love the way they competed in some of their games last year.”

The nine-time Pro Bowler had the worst statistical season of his career, finishing with a career low 16 touchdown passes and leading an offense that ended the season averaging 16.9 points per game.

Under his leadership as coordinator the last two seasons, San Francisco defense ranked first in total defense (300.6 yards/game), total points allowed (277) and points allowed per game (16.3) in the 2022 regular season.

In 2021, the 49ers defense ranked third in the league, allowing 310.0 total yards per game.

Houston fired former head coach Lovie Smith in early January after finishing 3-13-1 in 2022. Smith was the second coach to last just one season with the team. The Texans fired David Culley after a 3-14 season last year and then went on to hire Smith.

The 61-year-old Reich was the starting quarterback in the Panthers’ first ever game in 1995 and returns to the franchise as its sixth head coach.