Report: Sean Payton meeting with Arizona Cardinals on Thursday
The Cardinals are reportedly meeting with former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton on Thursday over Arizona’s head-coaching vacancy, per PHNX Sports’ Howard Balzer.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed the meeting.
The reports come after the team met with Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn on Saturday and is expected to interview Pittsburgh Steelers defensive assistant Brian Flores on Monday.
Arizona has also conducted interviews with former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich, in-house candidate and DC Vance Joseph and Denver Broncos DC Ejiro Evero. San Francisco 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans had an interview lined up with the Cardinals but reportedly canceled to focus on his current team’s playoff game this past Sunday.
Additionally, the Cardinals have requested an interview with Dallas Cowboys DC Dan Quinn.
Payton’s name has circulated through head-coaching searches this offseason, with multiple teams with vacancies linked to the head coach. The Broncos, who have already interviewed Payton, were supposed to meet with him again later this week, per NOLA.com’s Jeff Duncan. That has since been delayed, reports Balzer.
Payton has also met with the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers.
Payton coached the Saints from 2006-21 before stepping down from his role on the football field and moving to an analyst on FOX. During his Saints’ tenure, the head coach posted a 152-89 record and a Super Bowl XLIV win.
Interestingly enough, Payton has worked for the Bidwill family in the past, serving as a St. Louis Cardinals ball boy.
“I think I know that family well enough,” he told Colin Cowherd in November.
But acquiring Payton’s services brings an added wrinkle of compensation the Cardinals must consider if they want to bring him out of his coaching hiatus.
With two years left on his contract with New Orleans, any team looking to hire Payton would have to send over compensation to the Saints in return.
Payton while talking with Cowherd last week said the compensation the Saints are seeking is a mid-to-late first round pick.
As it stands Monday, the Cardinals hold the No. 3 pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.