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One NFL reporter tried claiming that the ongoing talks between free-agent head coach Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos ownership have turned sour, only for Payton to step in and refute the claim on Twitter.
The Washington Post‘s Mark Maske tweeted that he had spoken to his sources close to the Broncos and that Payton was falling out of favor with the Walton-Penner family — the new ownership group who acquired the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion in 2022.
Maske’s claim struck at the right time, considering a second meeting between the Broncos and Payton, originally expected to take place Wednesday or Thursday, was put off.
Many assumed that this delay was part of the Broncos’ busy itinerary with interviewing coaches, and Maske’s report tried to add a new dynamic to the Payton coaching sweepstakes. But it was all bluff…straight from the horse’s mouth.
“[T]here was an issue with Payton’s interview with the Broncos. Payton likes the idea of coaching Russell Wilson and having that defense but fears a potential power struggle with a member of the ownership group,” Masked tweeted late Thursday.
“Zero truth to this. We had a great visit and Broncos ownership was fantastic!!” Payton tweeted, quoting Maske’s claim.
It wasn’t a good look for Maske after trying to get ahead of a wrinkle in the relationship, especially after the swell of favor Payton had reportedly earned with the Denver brass.
Even before the team decided to nix one-year HC Nathaniel Hackett, Payton was deemed the favorite to coach Russell Wilson and the Broncos in 2023.
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Since then, the dynamic has indeed changed now that other suitors in the Payton sweepstakes have either landed a new coach or are in continued talks with other candidates.
After meeting with Payton earlier in the week, the Carolina Panthers decided to move on by hiring ex-Colts head coach Frank Reich, announced Thursday. The team was also considering keeping interim HC Steve Wilks at the helm, but the job went to Reich.
The Arizona Cardinals also remain in the mix to trade for Payton. Both sides met on Thursday in what was reported as a “lengthy” meeting. Other candidates considered by Arizona include in-house defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, Broncos DC Ejiro Evero and former Miami Dolphins HC Brian Flores.
Whispers around the Payton saga have also suggested that a collective failed bid by teams to land Payton this offseason could still leave him in prime contention to land with an “unnamed team” whose sights are firmly set on trading for the HC if he holds off another year of coaching.
The team is believed to be the Los Angeles Chargers, while others have made the case that the Dallas Cowboys could be the unnamed darkhorse.
Payton’s rights still belong to the New Orleans Saints and the team is requesting a first-round pick at minimum to trade away the HC.
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One CommentLeave a Reply
A Washington Post reporter getting it wrong? There’s a shocker. What a rag of a newspaper.