The Texans completed an interview with former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.
Payton, 59, has also interviewed with the Denver Broncos and been requested by the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers. Payton, who went 152-89 with the Saints and won a Super Bowl before retiring to become an NFL analyst for Fox, can’t officially interview until Jan. 17.
Because Payton is under contract with the Saints through the 2024 season, it would require a trade to acquire his services to compensate the NFC South franchise. That would require collaboration between Payton, the new NFL employer, the Saints and his longtime agent, Don Yee. It could require parting with a first-round draft pick to land him, and the Texans have the second overall pick and the 12th overall pick of the draft.
Payton said on FS1 that he anticipates it would take a middle or later first-round draft pick to acquire him.
“Ultimately, the compensation for the Saints would be a mid- or late-first-round pick,’’ Payton said. “Each team has different ammo or different pick selections. It could be a future one where maybe you have to throw in something.’’
Payton said he’s familiar with Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair and Texans general manager Nick Caserio from joint practices in the past with the Saints.
“When you practice for three days with an opponent, you get a chance to meet a lot of the different personalities and people involved in the building,’’ Payton said. “They’ve got really good draft capital, really good draft capital. They’re in a division that you can at least say with Indy, Tennessee and Jacksonville (opportunity to win.) There’s growth potential immediately there from their two or three wins they had this year. I know a little bit, Nick, because when he was in New England we had a lot of practices with their team.
When Bill Parcells left the New England Patriots to join the New York Jets, they were compensated with a first-round pick, second-round pick and second-round and third-round draft picks.
When Mike Holmgren left the Green Bay Packers to join the Seattle Seahawks, it cost them a second-round pick.
When Bill Belichick left the Jets to join the Patriots in an AFC East swap, the Jets got a first-round pick, fourth-round pick and seventh-round pick as New England got the eventual six-time Super Bowl winning coach and a fifth-round pick and seventh-round pick.
When Jon Gruden joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to leave the Raiders, Oakland got two first-round draft picks and two second-round draft picks in addition to $8 million to be paid over three years.
Herm Edwards cost the Jets a fourth-round draft pick sent to the Kansas City Chiefs. And the Arizona Cardinals got sixth-round and seventh-round picks for Bruce Arians when he ended his retirement to join Tampa Bay.
“I still have a vision for doing things in football,” Payton said when he retired from the Saints. “I’ll be honest with you, that might be coaching again, at some point. I do not think it is this year. I think maybe in the future, but that’s not where my heart is right now.”
Payton won a Super Bowl in 2009 and has a 9-8 playoff record.
“That’s the significance of the upcoming week or two, meeting some of these individuals, asking some questions, maybe some difficult questions,’’ Payton said. “And trying to get answers so we’re not having difficult questions when you’ve already taken the job.’’
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.