Sean Payton Explains Decision To Return To NFL, Coach Broncos

'This was the opportunity I was looking for'


Feb 1, 2023

Everyone knew Sean Payton was going to return to an NFL sideline at some point. It was only a matter of when.

The moment came to pass Tuesday when the Broncos and the Saints reportedly agreed to a trade that would allow Payton to become the new head coach in Denver. Payton, who stepped aside in New Orleans after the 2021 season, proved to only take a year-long hiatus from the league, which he spent working at FOX as a television analyst.

Payton had options once the 2022 regular season concluded. The Super Bowl-winning interviewed with four of the five teams with a head-coaching vacancy entering the offseason (the Indianapolis Colts were the lone exception). So, why the Broncos?

“This was the opportunity I was looking for,” Payton told on Tuesday. “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. It’s a good football city that we had in New Orleans.”

Payton now will be tasked with cleaning up a monumental mess in the Mile High City. The Broncos massively underperformed in their first season following the blockbuster Russell Wilson trade, going 5-12 and firing first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

Oddsmakers are optimistic Payton will be able to lead a Denver turnaround in 2023. The Broncos are in the top third of the league for shortest odds at DraftKings Sportsbook to win Super Bowl LVIII.

Thumbnail photo via Andrew Wevers/USA TODAY Sports Images
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