DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton talked about his new position and why he chose the orange and blue on a sports radio talk show this week.
Payton said the relationship between the owners, general manager George Paton and himself was one of the most important things when he decided which team to come back to the NFL to coach.
“The 17th was the first day that I could visit with another club. It was unique because here’s the biggest challenge … the biggest challenge is the contract, the compensation of the Saints,” Payton told Pat McAfee on Friday.
Payton said the meeting with Greg Penner, Paton and Condoleezza Rice was “fantastic” and the interview went well, but the compensation was the complication.
Payton was still under contract with his previous team, the New Orleans Saints, after stepping down as head coach. He said his good friend and Saints executive vice president and general manager Mickey Loomis ended up in intense long talks with Paton and the Broncos organization to make a deal happen.
“I’ll say this – there was three and a half, four days where Mickey and George were on the phone 24/7 … and trying to find, and these guys are both patient. GMs are like … I want to go now. And Greg Penner is used to doing a deal like, right now,” Payton said.
Payton also talked about his dinner with Russell Wilson, Wilson’s wife Ciara and Joe Montana. He said Wilson seemed to want to dive into the Broncos, but Payton wanted to ask legendary quarterback Montana about plays when he was in the league.
Latavius Murray texted Payton about coming to the Broncos
During the interview, Payton noticed Broncos running back Latavius Murray in the studio and invited him up to talk about how he and Wilson pushed the Super Bowl-winning coach to come to Denver. Murray played for Payton when he was with the Saints.
“And he texts me, this is right at Christmas time, the 23rd of December he sent this text: ‘Hey, my backfield teammate and I hope you come to Denver,’ and I’m thinking — well backfield teammate? I’m trying to look up who the other running back is because I’m … and I’m like who are you talking about? And then he sent, ‘number 3,’ and then I realized that. So I’m like all right this is … we’re in the middle of the season here and then I just, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ I texted him back. I said, ‘Hey just be careful what you’re asking Santa Claus for,’” Payton said.
The Broncos gave up their first-round pick, No. 29 overall, in the 2023 NFL draft to the Saints in order to sign Payton to a five-year deal worth around $18 million a year.