Reports: Saints give Broncos permission to interview Sean Payton

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Sean Payton
Sean Payton (Photo by Stephen Lew).

Let the silly season begin.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Saints have given the Denver Broncos permission to speak to their former head coach, Sean Payton, about their coaching vacancy.

While in similar cases, an agreement on potential compensation is reached before permission is given, Schefter said the teams have not reached such an agreement. Payton, who stepped away last January, remains under contract to New Orleans, and it would likely require a trade to acquire the rights to hire Payton.

According to Schefter, the interview cannot take place before Jan. 17. And when the meeting occurs, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing sources, they cannot discuss a contract, nor can Payton be offered the job.

Denver is seeking a replacement for Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired before the conclusion of his first season as head coach.

The regular season ends Sunday, and presumably other coaching jobs will be vacant in the hours and days after the season ends. It’s likely other teams will ask the Saints for permission to speak to their former coach.

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