5 potential replacements if Panthers cut ties with Matt Rhule in-season

(Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
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(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Sean Payton /

Carolina Panthers could target Sean Payton

If there is one thing that could be said for David Tepper, he is not afraid to go bold. Even if this hasn’t brought much to cheer about on or off the field since the billionaire bought the Carolina Panthers from previous owner Jerry Richardson for $2.2 billion, which was a record at the time.

Should the Panthers decide to go in a different direction, then making a huge splash would be Tepper’s primary goal. That would undoubtedly see Sean Payton become a primary – albeit a very expensive – target.

Payton was a thorn in Carolina’s side for many years as head coach of the New Orleans Saints before stepping away this offseason. He’s currently trying his hand at analyzing with FOX Sports, but could be tempted back into the league by a mammoth offer that Tepper can easily afford.

Stranger things have happened, but it’s unlikely Payton would want to take on the job in-season. There is also the small matter of compensation given that he is still under contract with the Saints.

This would involve some high-end draft capital, one suspects. Especially considering New Orleans lies within the same NFC South division as the Panthers.

Tepper will swing for the fences if – or when – the time comes. But Payton would likely need a blank check and a lot of convincing before taking on this major project.