Sean Payton 'Absolutely' Will Consider Texans HC Opening amid Broncos, Panthers Buzz

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2023

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 09: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Don't rule out the Houston Texans in the Sean Payton sweepstakes.

The former New Orleans Saints head coach made an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd (h/t David Newton of ESPN) on Monday and said he would "absolutely" consider the AFC South team.

The comments were notable because Payton said he planned to meet with the Texans, Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers this week.

Houston announced Monday night that it had completed an interview with Payton.

Payton stepped down from his position with the Saints ahead of the 2022 season with time remaining on his contract, which means New Orleans will receive compensation from whichever team hires him.

"Ultimately, the compensation for the Saints would be a mid- or late-first-round pick," Payton said while referencing discussions with New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis. "Each team has different ammo or different pick selections. It could be a future one where maybe you have to throw in something."

Newton noted the Arizona Cardinals also requested permission to interview Payton.

That Houston will emerge to land Payton may seem like a long shot given the team's recent history.

After all, it is coming off a third straight losing season and went an ugly 3-13-1 during the 2022 campaign. It has also never advanced past the divisional round of the playoffs despite having a list of star players that includes J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson.

Yet Payton pointed to the "growth potential" given the overall weakness of the AFC South and the Texans' "really good draft capital."

They have the No. 2 and 12 picks in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft and could look to use one of them on a potential franchise quarterback in Ohio State's C.J. Stroud or Alabama's Bryce Young.

Payton had a long history of success in New Orleans with Drew Brees, and the chance to build a similar partnership with a new quarterback may be appealing to him as he weighs different options.

It remains to be seen where he will end up, but the Texans appear to be in the mix.