A look at past NFL coach trades as Broncos land Sean Payton


The Denver Broncos have traded for their next head coach.

Denver reportedly finalized a deal with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday to acquire Sean Payton. The trade clears the way for the Broncos to hire Payton as their head coach.

The Broncos gave up a 2023 first-round pick (No. 30 overall) and their 2024 second-round pick in exchange for Payton and New Orleans' 2024 third-round pick. Payton was under contract with the Saints for two more seasons, giving New Orleans leverage in the trade for the Super Bowl-winning coach.

Payton, 59, stepped down in January 2022 following a 15-year run in New Orleans where he posted a 152-89 record with nine playoff appearances and one Lombardi Trophy. The 2006 Coach of the Year will fill the void left by Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired after one season in Denver, and will be tasked with trying to get quarterback Russell Wilson back on track.

As Payton heads from New Orleans to Denver, here's a look at past NFL head coach trades.

Has an NFL head coach ever been traded?

Payton is not the first NFL head coach to be traded.

Which NFL head coaches have been traded?

The exact number of head coach trades in NFL history is unclear. But there have now been seven deals involving big-name head coaches over the last 25-plus years.

Since 1997, Bill Parcells, Mike Holmgren, Bill Belichick, Jon Gruden, Herm Edwards, Bruce Arians and Sean Payton have changed teams via trade. The compensation it took to acquire them ranged from one late-round draft pick to multiple early-round picks along with cash:

Bill Parcells, 1997, from Patriots to Jets: First-round pick, second-round pick, third-round pick, fourth-round pick, $300,0000

Mike Holmgren, 1999, from Packers to Seahawks: Second-round pick

Bill Belichick, 2000, from Jets to Patriots: First-round pick, fourth-round pick, seventh-round pick (Pats also got a fifth-rounder and seventh-rounder)

Jon Gruden, 2002, from Raiders to Buccaneers: Two first-round picks, two second-round picks, $8 million

Herm Edwards, 2006, from Jets to Chiefs: Fourth-round pick

Bruce Arians, 2019, from Cardinals to Buccaneers: Sixth-round pick (Bucs also got a seventh-rounder)

Sean Payton, 2023, from Saints to Broncos: First-round pick, second-round pick (Broncos also got a third-rounder)

Three of the six prior trades resulted in at least one Super Bowl for the acquiring team. Belichick has won six Lombardi Trophies with the Patriots, while Gruden and Arians each won one with the Bucs.

Holmgren, meanwhile, took the Seahawks to one Super Bowl.

Parcells stepped down following a 29-19 run over three seasons as the Jets’ head coach and Edwards was fired by the Chiefs after going 15-33 over three seasons.

So how will Payton's Broncos tenure turn out?

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