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Carolina Panthers receive permission to interview Sean Payton

The Carolina Panthers are reportedly looking within their own division to fill their head coach opening and find a full-time replacement for Matt Rhule.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Carolina has received permission to speak with former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.

Despite resigning ahead of the 2022 season, Payton is still under contract with New Orleans. Any team looking to speak with the Super Bowl-winning head coach would have to agree to the parameters of a trade with the Saints, meaning that they’ve talked to Carolina about what it would cost for the division rival to bring him in.

As for Carolina, the team fired Rhule five games into the 2022 season. He was replaced by Steve Wilks on an interim basis. Several reports since have indicated that Wilks is a top candidate to take over on a full-time basis after he posted a solid 6-6 record on an interim basis.

Without a playoff appearance since 2017, Panthers owner David Tepper is apparently willing to pay from both a draft pick and financial aspect to help make the Panthers relevant again. Payton would certainly help.

Related: Top Carolina Panthers head coach candidates

carolina panthers sean payton
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  • Sean Payton coaching record: 152-89 record, .631 winning percentage, one Super Bowl win

The cost to acquire Payton is said to be at least a first-round pick. Carolina boasts the No. 9 selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, which would likely head to New Orleans.

In addition to the Panthers, three others teams in that of the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals have received permission to interview Sean Payton. Denver’s meet and greet with the highly-respected head coach will come on Tuesday.