And the NFL offseason has already started.
In two tweets just nine minutes apart, Adam Schefter broke the news about the two big coaching dominoes we’ve all been waiting for. Sean Payton will be traded to the Denver Broncos, and minutes later, the Demeko Ryans will go to the Houston Texans.
Two of the biggest coaching names available are now off the board, Frank Reich is already with the Carolina Panthers, and only the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals are looking for new head coaches. .
So what do we do with these recruits? Some first thoughts below.
Broncos Sean Payton
Denver paid a heavy price to get the man. The Broncos will send a first-round pick this year, a second-round pick to Payton in 2024, and a third-round pick to the Saints next year. Denver is set to acquire this year’s No. 30 draft pick in a Bradley Chubb trade, and the Broncos hope to improve enough to minimize their drop from No. 2 to possibly No. 3 next year. I’m in
While the cost may seem exorbitant at first, it’s largely in line with past coaching deals such as Bill Belichick and Jon Gruden, leaving little doubt that Payton is one of the NFL’s best coaches. There is no room for
He is a Super Bowl winner with a career record of 152-89 and 10.7-win pace. The Saints have never done worse than 7-9 in his 15 years under Payton. Payton is known as Offensive His Mind, leading the NFL’s offense to the Top 9 for his 15th straight season and more than half of the top two in the league.
All he has to do now is fix Russell Wilson.
The Broncos paid Wilson a lot last year and are now doubling down on their investment by going all-in on Payton. The team effectively swapped the first and second picks for the duo for the third consecutive year.
The pairing makes a lot of sense. The top-level quarterback most similar to Wilson has always been Drew Brees, Peyton’s longtime QB in New Orleans. Threatening league-record accuracy, he finished near the top of the league in ball-moving passing yards for the Saints.
Wilson’s accuracy has slipped this year, like everything else, but Denver’s coaching staff was in turmoil under Nathaniel Hackett and others. Payton with Wilson is a match made in heaven . If there are still high-level quarterbacks out there, you have to trust Peyton to find a way to unlock them.
Keep in mind, Payton has three Offensive Player of the Year honors in his 12 years with the Saints, and Denver has Cortland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy catching passes and Javonte Williams as leadback. It means you have a very good arsenal of things that will come back.
Denver went all-in on Wilson and Payton. Wilson’s health and confidence may never return and Payton might be better off retiring, but this duo effectively makes the Broncos a New Orleans West and injects another top offense into the AFC mix. There is a possibility.
An uphill battle in the division featuring Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, not to mention who the Raiders are chasing, but the Broncos have been an afterthought all season long and will once again pay close attention Must. They are an intriguing long shot now.
Demeko Lyons, Texans
Ryans may not be a household name, but the last two years at the helm of the formidable defense that hosted the NFC Championship Game in San Francisco, he’s now a household name for most fans. Ryans will be Houston’s fifth coach in his four-hit season, but after signing a six-year deal, the Texans certainly hope to change that trend.
The Ryans have inherited a defense that has far exceeded expectations under Lovie Smith, a sign of what to expect from the Ryans. He has helped turn players like Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga into true defensive stars. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Texans put up a top 10 defense under the Ryans next year.
How quickly the Ryans find success depends a lot on the other side of the ball. Notice who the Ryans, a unit sorely lacking in talent and leadership, brought in to lead their offense.
It will also be interesting to see how hiring Ryans affects Houston’s No. 2 draft pick. Can the Texans forego quarterbacks for studs like Will Anderson and Jalen Carter to anchor the defense?
Most of the Texans are a blank slate with tons of draft picks and cap space. This is a long-term project and Ryans has time to shape the team in his image. The Broncos will be contending right under Payton, but Houston’s move will likely take years to fully bear fruit. Even if he wins in the AFC South, Houston remains his shot long unless Big finds his name at quarterback or offensively as his coordinator.
It’s never too early to start thinking about next season, but at the moment the only market available is next year’s Super Bowl Champion.
It’s probably not the Texans, so you can save your money there, but go back there and check out the longshot division odds for the bottom-to-bottom contenders.
Could the Broncos turn things around under Payton and bring Wilson back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2015?
It’s virtually unheard of for a quarterback as good as the Hall of Fame-guaranteed Super Bowl winner Wilson to completely fall off a cliff like he did. Wilson has been good enough long enough to deserve the benefit of the doubt and a second chance after an injury-plagued and poorly coached season debacle.
The Broncos finished ninth with 2024 Super Bowl odds of +2800 over the Draft Kings. That’s a bit more and you don’t have to buy high right now, especially if the Broncos are likely to play wildcards against the Mahomes and Chiefs in the division, but even with limited resources, Denver is currently , the team that oversees the future. So much draft capital gone. Wilson will be an interesting appearance for OPOY and passing yards and his leader once those markets open, and the Broncos will be important again.
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