3 bombshell packages the Carolina Panthers could offer for Sean Payton

(John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports) Sean Payton
(John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports) Sean Payton /
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Carolina Panthers
(Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports) Sean Payton /

Carolina Panthers trade offer No. 1

The New Orleans Saints are without a first-round pick in 2023 after striking a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2022 NFL Draft. They are also likely to demand more from the Carolina Panthers than any other interested party for the rights to Sean Payton.

All signs point to the Saints asking for Carolina’s first-rounder, one suspects. Sacrificing the No. 9 overall selection this spring for Payton is a controversial move – one that wouldn’t be universally well received – but if team owner David Tepper is convinced this is the guy to lead the Panthers back into contention, it’s something he’ll consider.

Whether Payton would accept this job without a top-10 pick is debatable. The Panthers are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback from the college ranks and the best way to find one is early in the draft rather than take your chances with someone lower down the pecking order.

Payton won’t ever coach in New Orleans throughout the remainder of his contract. Therefore, if the Panthers agreed to send this pick over and nothing else, the Saints would probably snap their hands off.

Just how popular that would be with Carolina’s long-suffering fanbase is anyone’s guess. But if Payton gets them back among the playoff contenders sooner rather than later, it will no doubt be worth the sacrifice.