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Sean Payton, Arizona Cardinals meeting is great for Saints | Locked On Saints

The New Orleans Saints have Payton, who spent last year as a broadcaster with FOX, under contract through 2024.

NEW ORLEANS — The Arizona Cardinals are set to interview former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton on Thursday, one of four known suitors to bring the former Super Bowl winner out of the broadcast booth and back onto the sideline.

Arizona is the last to formally talk to Payton out of the group of four, with Denver, Houston, and Carolina already hosting the 59-year-old coach for an interview.

The New Orleans Saints have Payton, who spent last year as a broadcaster with FOX, under contract through 2024. This means any team choosing to hire Payton will give up some level of draft pick compensation to the Saints - a team in desperate need of some reinforcements under center.

For Locked on Saints host Ross Jackson, the more teams interested in hiring Payton the merrier.

“The more that he’s talking about it, the more that he’s thinking about it, the more that he’s getting excited about it, the more likely he ends up choosing one of them,” Jackson said. “Which again means the Saints get that draft capital.”

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New Orleans is hoping to receive multiple draft picks in a trade for Payton, including at least one first round selection. While Arizona’s interest in Payton is good for New Orleans, they may not be the most attractive of the four known suitors - as they are more likely to offer a 2024 first round pick instead of their 2023 pick, which is No. 3 overall.

“You probably don’t want the Saints to trade Sean Payton to the Arizona Cardinals because it’s very unlikely you’re going to get a first round pick in 2023 if you send him there,” Jackson continued. “You could get one in 2024, however, so when do you want a quarterback? Do you want a quarterback now or do you want a quarterback later?”

New Orleans has some work to do after a disappointing 2022 season, and getting a marquee quarterback in the 2023 NFL draft is a great way to right the ship sooner. 

If the team’s new signal-caller comes via draft capital acquired because of Payton’s return, it would represent a nice parting gift from the coach who won 152 games and a Super Bowl across 15 years as the head coach of the Saints.

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