• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Meet the Rising 25 Class of 2024!

Broncos, Texans Take Big Swings on Sean Payton, DeMeco Ryans

  • Denver traded multiple draft picks to acquire Payton from New Orleans.
  • Houston gave Ryans a six-year deal — a show of faith after firing its last two coaches after one season each.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday saw two NFL teams fill their head coaching vacancies — doing so in two vastly different ways and with two vastly different motives.

First, the Denver Broncos agreed to terms with former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. Minutes later, news broke that the Houston Texans were signing former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.

As Payton was still under contract with the Saints, the Broncos had to trade for him, sending a 2023 first-round draft pick and a 2024 second-round pick to New Orleans in exchange for Payton and a 2024 third-rounder, per multiple reports.

The Broncos seem to be attempting to justify last season’s enormous Russell Wilson trade by now trading for a head coach — a move that’s not entirely unprecedented and has actually had success in the past.

In 2002, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and $8 million in cash to the Oakland Raiders for the rights to Jon Gruden. The Bucs won the franchise’s first Super Bowl in Gruden’s first season at the helm.

Denver appears to be trying to capture that same lightning in a bottle with Payton — who is no stranger to winning himself, having won seven NFC South titles and Super Bowl XLIV with New Orleans.

The 59-year-old last coached professional football in 2021 and left it embroiled in his second career scandal after the Miami Dolphins reportedly impermissibly contacted him regarding a potential $100 million contract. He spent 2022 as an analyst for Fox Sports.

But if Payton is able to work his magic and get Wilson back on track after a disastrous, career-worst season, it would justify the Broncos sending away the bevy of draft picks it took to put the two of them together.

Cardinals, Texans Add to Lengthy Bill for Fired NFL Head Coaches

NFL teams have spent $800M on fired coaches and executives since 2017.
January 9, 2023

Meanwhile, the Texans have the dubious distinction of having hired a record three Black head coaches in a row — but firing the first two (David Culley, Lovie Smith) after just one season each.

But in many ways, Ryans feels like the perfect hire for Houston, who is putting more faith in him than either of his predecessors by reportedly giving him a six-year contract.

  • The 38-year-old played linebacker for the Texans from 2006-2011 and for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2012-2015 — during which time he earned a reputation as a potential future head coach.
  • The 49ers had the 2022 season’s No. 1-ranked defense by total DVOA, yards allowed per game (300.6), and points allowed per game (16.3).
  • The Texans have the second overall pick in the draft, which they are expected to use on a franchise quarterback — likely Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud or Alabama’s Bryce Young.

That the two hirings were announced so close together may not have been a coincidence: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Broncos tried multiple times to convince Ryans to sign with them — including on Tuesday — and finalized a deal with Payton when it did not come to fruition.

With Payton and Ryans off the board, the Arizona Cardinals and the Indianapolis Colts are the only two teams in the league who still need to fill head coaching vacancies.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Charlotte Doles Out Over $700 Million In Upgrades for Pro Sports Teams

The city council approved $650 million in renovations for the Panthers.

Scheffler’s Season Earnings Could Surpass Top NFL, NBA, MLB Stars

The golfer has already won more than $27 million this season.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How the American Soccer Fan is Unlike Any Other Sports Fans


Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.

Lakers Hire Former Player, Podcaster, Analyst JJ Redick As Head Coach

Redick takes over the Lakers with no coaching experience.
Todd Bowles
June 12, 2024

The Highest-Paid NFL Defensive Coordinators

Vic Fangio tops the list, earning an estimated $4.5 million per year to lead the Eagles’ defense.
June 20, 2024

Monty Williams Is Out of a Job, but He’ll Get $65 Million in Severance

Detroit owes $65 million after making Williams the league’s highest-paid coach.

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
Former Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Nate Tibbetts in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
June 12, 2024

The Highest-Paid WNBA Coaches

With a yearly salary in excess of $1 million, Nat Tibbetts is the highest-paid WNBA coach.
June 10, 2024

Dan Hurley Spurns Lakers for UConn in Stunner

The UConn coach went to Los Angeles late last week to hear the team out.
Dec 10, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Detailed view of the NFL shield on the field after the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
June 8, 2024

The Highest-Paid NFL Offensive Coordinators

Todd Monken of the Ravens and Mike Kafka of the Giants both earn an estimated $3 million annually. 
MLS Cup Eastern Conference First Round-Game 2-Columbus Crew SC at Atlanta United FC
June 6, 2024

The Highest-Paid MLS Coaches

Phil Neville and Gerardo Martino are tied atop the list, each earning $1 per year.