Broncos granted permission from Saints to interview Sean Payton for head coach

The Sean Payton sweepstakes have begun.

The Denver Broncos have received permission from the New Orleans Saints to interview Sean Payton for their head-coaching vacancy, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported on Saturday.

The Broncos, who fired Nathanial Hackett on Dec. 26, are the first known team to have permission to interview Payton during the upcoming hiring season.

Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Jan. 1 that Payton was expected to be a top target of Denver’s, along with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Hiring Payton is more complicated than a typical coaching move as he is still under contract with the Saints. Any team would have to agree to trade compensation with New Orleans in order to hire Payton as its new head coach.

Payton stepped down as Saints coach in Jan. 2022 following a 15-year run with an overall regular-season record of 152-89 and a postseason mark of 9-8, including one Super Bowl victory and the 2006 AP Coach of the Year award.

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