The Arizona Cardinals have received permission to interview Sean Payton for their head coach opening. Arizona is a real contender due to their front office vacancy.
While the Cardinals may not be a contender just yet, they do offer Sean Payton something no other team can — a hand in management, and a chance to pick his own general manager, should he wish.
If Arizona wants much of a chance to sway Payton to Arizona, their best bet is to give him some level of front office control. The Cardinals let Steve Keim go, meaning they need to replace their GM as well. Starting with Payton would make Arizona a very attractive front office opening.
Payton is also said to be a big Kyler Murray fan. Murray missed the tail end of this season, but remains a former No. 1 overall pick and the franchise quarterback in Arizona. He has plenty left to prove, and with the right guidance can do just that in the desert.
Sean Payton rumors: Arizona Cardinals emerge as a threat
While the Denver Broncos were thought to be the initial favorite to land Payton, most teams are said to be on his radar. If the Cardinals offer him the most control and a unique opportunity, he may take it. In Denver, he’d be working under George Paton, a man who just fired Nathaniel Hackett after one season and traded for Russell Wilson, which has been an abject failure.
As good as Wilson once was, he’s coming off a down year and is in the tail end of his career. In Murray, Payton would have a quarterback he believes in and a lot of wiggle room as it pertains to roster construction. Murray is also young enough to learn from Payton, while in Denver he’d be teaching an old dog new tricks.