Latest team in Sean Payton sweepstakes will drive up price for Saints

The New Orleans Saints have granted permission for the Carolina Panthers to interview Sean Payton for their vacant head coaching position.

If Sean Payton returns to coach in 2023, it’s going to mean a massive haul of draft picks for the New Orleans Saints.

If Payton coaches the Carolina Panthers, that draft pick haul would be unheard of. You don’t send a coach like Payton to a division rival. Ideally, you’d like to keep Payton away from your team two times per year if you can help it.

The Saints, who own Payton’s rights for two more seasons, need to sign off and give their blessing to whichever team wants to hire him. That won’t come cheap, as Payton is one of the most sought-after coaches in the league. For the Panthers, that price will be even higher considering their status as a division rival.

And even if Payton doesn’t end up with the Panthers, them being in on the interview process could help drive the highest bid upward, getting the Saints the best possible return for Payton this offseason.

Panthers being in on Sean Payton sweepstakes could get the Saints a few extra picks

If Carolina is serious about wanting Payton, that’s great news for New Orleans. It would take a massive haul to convince the Saints to trade him within the division. Tons of draft picks would be great for New Orleans, who doesn’t currently have a first-round pick in 2023.

But the most ideal situation is still keeping Payton away from the NFC South while getting the Panthers involved to get extra bids going. The Saints could use the Panthers’ interest and presumably high offer to let other teams know, hey, the price just went up.

More bidders helps drive the price of a commodity up. For now, every team with an opening, aside from the Colts, has gotten Payton on the line.

Oh, and the Chargers still could get in on the bidding, too. And considering Payton really wants to be there, that could drive the price up even further.