In what would be a very rare occurrence, former New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton could be traded. How many draft picks is he worth? Payton has taken a year off from coaching and apparently has a desire to resume his coaching career.
However, since the Saints still own his contractual rights, he cannot simply sign a deal with a team; he has to be traded for.
The biggest players in the Sean Payton sweepstakes appear to be the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, who are both two struggling teams with promising rosters. Payton has said that the Saints are seeking a mid to late first round pick in a deal.
Trading a first round pick is something that I think teams are mostly hesitant to do for players, but the impact of trading picks for coaches is not something that has a lot of evidence to it.
Many NFL teams may use the trade value chart to see how much each pick is worth, but that is typically used for making trades during draft day. There have not been a ton of head coach trades in NFL history, so it’s unclear whether a team willing to trade a first round pick would be getting a deal or not if they acquired Payton.
What we do know is that he’s got a very elite coaching career with the Saints, which includes winning over 60% of his regular season games and a Super Bowl title in 2009. His winning playoff record is also very impressive.
Not many coaches can say they have half the career as a HC that Payton does. Some have argued that Sean Payton was boosted a bit because of how good Drew Brees was, but constantly fielding elite offenses year after year makes me think that Payton was also holding his own.
If the Broncos or Panthers were to trade for Payton, I think they’d instantly become playoff caliber teams and would see an instant boost in offensive production.