Sean Payton's offseason of flirtation with prospective employers will include two more teams.
The Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans have requested to interview the former Saints head coach, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday. The Cardinals and Texans join the Denver Broncos as teams who have requested to meet with Payton. All three have received permission to interview Payton from the Saints, Rapoport added.
Payton's contract with the Saints -- from whom the coach walked away following the 2021 season -- does not expire until the end of the 2024 season, meaning any of the three teams interested in Payton would have to agree to a trade in order to secure the services of the Super Bowl XLIV-winning coach.
"Denver's the first team; I was able to have a conversation with their owner," Payton told Good Morning Football and FOX Sports' Peter Schrager this past Sunday. "That's kind of the protocol. It would go team to Saints and then the interview process can't officially begin until [Jan. 17] so that's really where it's at."
The Cardinals fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury after four seasons with the team, in which he posted a 28-37-1 record and led Arizona to one playoff appearance. Houston fired Lovie Smith following the conclusion of the regular season, the Texans' second consecutive termination of their coach in as many seasons.