Carolina Panthers Request to Interview Sean Payton

The Carolina Panthers are apparently willing to swing for the fences in their pursuit of a new head coach. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Carolina Panthers have requested to interview former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.

As a division rival of the Saints, the Panthers witnessed Payton's many successes firsthand. Payton led the Saints to the glory years of the franchise, bringing them 10 winning seasons, nine top-five scoring offenses, and a Super Bowl victory following the 2009 season. Payton retired following the 2021 season.

Payton technically remains under contract with the Saints, so acquiring him will likely require the Panthers to give up meaningful assets, not to mention a sizeable contract. When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers procured Jon Gruden from the Oakland Raiders in 2002, they gave up two first-round and two second-round picks. Payton is significantly more accomplished, and the Saints would likely force the Panthers to pay a steeper premium to trade him within the NFC South.

Given that the Panthers are competing with the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, and who knows who else for Payton's services, they'd likely have to blow away the other bidders to appease the Saints. It could be too steep a price to pay.

Photo Credit: © Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports