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Carolina Panthers willing to give Sean Payton whatever he wants

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has made it clear since taking over for Jerry Richardson in that role back in 2018. He will use every resource possible in order to return this organization to relevance.

After missing out on the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season to open Tepper’s tenure, that could include bringing in Super Bowl-winning head coach Sean Payton.

Carolina has already received permission to speak with Payton from the New Orleans Saints, who own his contractual rights and are said to be demanding at least a first-round pick in return.

By virtue of speaking with Payton, the Panthers have already agreed to the parameters of a “trade.” Now comes this note from Mark Maske of The Washington Post indicating that Carolina is willing to give Payton “just about anything he wants” to be he team’s next head coach.

Maske goes on to note that it’s unknown how enthusiastic Payton is about heading to Carolina. The Denver Broncos are seen as another frontrunner for his services.

Related: NFL execs see Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers as front runners in Lamar Jackson trade

Cost of the Carolina Panthers landing Sean Payton

sean payton carolina panthers
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina boasts the ninth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It stands to reason that New Orleans would ask for that in a potential deal. Then again, the Panthers have other avenues to pursue a trade for the highly-respected head coach.

By virtue of the trade that sent star running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers back in October, Carolina has two additional picks on Dau 2 of the draft. Perhaps, Tepper and Co., offer up two second-round selections and additional compensation to pry Payton from New Orleans. If not, the cost will likely be that ninth pick.

From a pure compensation standpoint heading in Payton’s direction, the Carolina Panthers will back up that Brinks Truck.

Right now, Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams is the NFL’s highest-paid head coach at between $15 and $18 million annually. Six-time Super Bowl champion Bill Belichick comes in second with the New England Patriots head coach earning $12.5 million per season.

An argument could be made that Payton’s new deal should surpass what McVay is earning. If not, something between Belichick’s contract and McVay’s current deal would make sense.

All of this is to say that Carolina bringing in Payton would cost a whole heck of a lot and could impact the team’s on-field rebuild.

Remember, this is an organization that has gone a combined 29-53 since Tepper took over as owner. It is also paying out the remainder of Matt Rhule’s contract after he was fired before three full seasons were up.