5 bold head coaching hires the Carolina Panthers could pursue in 2023

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Jim Harbaugh
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Jim Harbaugh /
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Carolina Panthers
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Sean Payton /

Carolina Panthers could target Sean Payton

Once the 2022 NFL season concludes, Sean Payton’s name will be front and center with almost every vacant head coaching position. Although he’s still under contract with the New Orleans Saints, there is clearly a willingness to get back into the swing of things next season or into the future, which will put the Carolina Panthers and others across the league on red alert.

This is something in David Tepper’s capabilities. He’s known to take a risk or two both in business and since buying the franchise from Jerry Richardson, so this sort of play cannot be ruled out by any stretch of the imagination.

Although a mouth-watering proposition given Payton’s offensive credentials, there are some significant obstacles in play before this scenario becomes reality. The Saints are likely to demand a substantial amount of draft compensation for their former head coach to join an NFC South rival and it might take some convincing on the team’s part in their current flux.

The progress shown by Steve Wilks is pleasing. However, the track record of interim coaches that get the job permanently isn’t great, which might come into Tepper’s thought process unless Carolina goes on a lengthy winning run down the stretch.

Payton will be the No. 1 option for most teams looking for a shift in direction. But coaxing him into this particular project with such an unpredictable owner is a tough sell, in all honesty.