ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos have agreed to a deal with the New Orleans Saints that will make Sean Payton their head coach, a person with knowledge of the accord said Tuesday.
The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams hadn’t announced the agreement, said the Broncos would send their first-round pick, No. 29 overall, in this year’s draft to the Saints along with a future second-rounder.
Payton remained under contract with New Orleans after stepping down from the Saints last season and working in broadcasting this season.
The Broncos, who went 5-12 this season and extended their playoff drought to seven years, fired rookie coach Nathaniel Hackett on Dec. 26 after he went 4-11. Interim coach Jerry Rosburg went 1-1.
Payton’s top task will be to get quarterback Russell Wilson back to his winning ways after the 11-year pro had his worst statistical season following his blockbuster trade from Seattle for four premium draft picks and three players.
The Broncos dealt their first- and second-round picks to the Seahawks for Wilson. They got back into the first round by trading pass rusher Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins, who sent the Broncos a first-rounder originally owned by the San Francisco 49ers.
That selection, the 29th overall pick, now belongs to the Saints.
Payton also interviewed for the Carolina Panthers’ head coaching vacancy.