1 of 5 | Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton will be traded to the Denver Broncos this off-season. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The Denver Broncos agreed to a trade with the New Orleans Saints to acquire head coach Sean Payton.
Sources told NFL Network, ESPN and The Athletic on Tuesday night that the Broncos agreed to sent a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and a second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft in exchange for Payton and a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Payton stepped down from his role with the Saints after the 2021 season, but was still under contract with the franchise. He spent the 2022 season as a studio analyst for Fox Sports. Payton also drew interest from the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans.
"It's a great football city like we had in New Orleans," Payton told NOLA.com. "It matters there. The fans are passionate about the team."
The Broncos hired Nathaniel Hackett last off-season, but fired the first-year head coach in December after a 4-11 start to the season.
Payton, 59, went 152-89 in 15 seasons as coach of the Saints. He held the job for 16 years, but was suspended for the 2012 season for his role in a scheme to compensate players who injured opponents to get them knocked out of games.
He went 9-8 in the playoffs and won a Super Bowl in 2010. Payton's Saints won at least 10 games and clinched playoff spots in nine separate seasons. The two-time Coach of the Year also worked as quarterbacks coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, offensive coordinator of the New York Giants and assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Broncos finished in last place in the AFC West in each of the last three seasons. They went 5-12 in 2022-23 and owned the worst offense in the NFL, in terms of points scored, and ranked 21st in yards. The Broncos owned the No. 7 defense, allowing the 12th-fewest passing yards and 10th-fewest rushing yards.
The Saints ranked inside the Top 10 for points nine times and inside the Top 10 for yards 11 times under Payton.