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NFL Rumors: Panthers Would Give Sean Payton 'Just About Anything He Wants' to Be HC

Adam WellsJanuary 18, 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

Among the teams interested in Sean Payton, the Carolina Panthers might be the most aggressive potential suitor as they search for a new head coach.

Per Mark Maske of the Washington Post, Panthers owner David Tepper would be willing to give Payton "just about anything he wants" to become their coach.

Maske did note it's unclear how enthusiastic Payton is about taking the job in Carolina right now.

Payton has already interviewed with the Denver Broncos. He's set to meet with Tepper on Friday, per ESPN's Dianna Russini.

The Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans are also scheduled to speak with Payton at some point.

There are other potential issues facing the Panthers if they want to hire Payton. The New Orleans Saints, who still hold his contractual rights, could look for even more compensation than they are already expecting if they trade him within their own division.

Appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd this week (starts at 1:30 mark), Payton said he thinks the Saints' compensation will ultimately be a "mid- or late-first round pick."

Herd w/Colin Cowherd @TheHerd

.<a href="https://twitter.com/SeanPayton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SeanPayton</a> addresses head coach openings <a href="https://t.co/LYWpWlcalC">pic.twitter.com/LYWpWlcalC</a>

The Panthers' top pick in the 2023 NFL draft is at No. 9 overall. They also have an extra second-round pick from the San Francisco 49ers as part of the Christian McCaffrey trade.

There is a big question for the Panthers at quarterback, but the roster around that position is intriguing for any head coach going into next season. Their rushing attack after trading McCaffrey was excellent with 149.5 yards per game from Weeks 8-18.

D.J. Moore finished with 888 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, despite having three different starting quarterbacks. Terrace Marshall Jr. averaged 17.5 yards per reception in his second season.

The defense will be built around Derrick Brown and Brian Burns on the front four. Jaycee Horn led the team with three interceptions and tied for the team lead with seven pass breakups.

Tepper bought the Panthers in May 2018 from Jerry Richardson. The team hasn't won more than seven games since he took over as owner. They haven't made the playoffs since the 2017 season.