There have been four NFL head coaches traded for a first-round pick since 1997. Two of them won a Super Bowl within their first two seasons with their new teams. Sean Payton, freshly traded to the Denver Broncos, will look to become the third head coach from that list to take his team to a Super Bowl.
By joining the Broncos, who have nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson ready to embark on a redemption tour, there will surely be high expectations despite the team’s disaster season in 2022.
At least, that’s where we were when Nathaniel Hackett got hired a season ago when the Broncos were a popular choice to win what would be the franchise’s fourth Lombardi Trophy. Now that Payton, who, like Wilson, also brings a Super Bowl ring to the table, is ready to ride, why should the expectations be any lower?
Related: Super Bowl odds: Every team’s championship futures for 2023 NFL season
Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl odds stay at +4500 post-Sean Payton trade
Yet, the early returns are in. In the eyes of one oddsmaker, specifically, Caesars Sportsbook, the Broncos’ chances to win a Super Bowl aren’t any better now that they’ve hired Payton. Before the Payton trade, Denver’s odds to win Super Bowl LVIII were +4500. After the trade, they have the same exact odds.
How about that? It would make more sense if the Broncos hired an unproven coach or one with no previous experience, but here’s Payton, who’s coached 241 career NFL games, coming away with a 63% win percentage. Yet, the Broncos apparently haven’t gotten any better.
It would seem to be either an assumption that Payton can’t fix Denver’s problems, perhaps even that Wilson is part of the bigger issue, or simply that the Broncos need more improvements to the roster before coming away with a better team this offseason. Whichever theory you subscribe to, seeing the odds remain unchanged is a fascinating development.
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