METAIRIE, La. -- It feels like the Jon Gruden deal is the only NFL coaching "trade" that anyone remembers.
Or at least the only one that the New Orleans Saints fans on my Twitter timeline remember.
That makes sense, considering the blockbuster price the Tampa Bay Buccaneers paid as compensation in 2002 to hire Gruden away from the Oakland Raiders: two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million.
Unfortunately for the Saints, that's not the norm.
So if they do wind up allowing coach Sean Payton to leave for another team with two years remaining on his contract, they'll have to aim lower.
How low? It's hard to say, since similar arrangements have been all over the map over the past two decades. Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick fetched multiple picks, including first-rounders. But Herm Edwards cost only a fourth-round pick. And even a proven Super Bowl-winning head coach like Mike Holmgren cost the Seattle Seahawks only a second-round pick to pry him away from the Green Bay Packers in 1999, when Holmgren wanted a job that offered more front-office control.
I believe the Saints should demand more than just one second-round pick, especially if multiple teams are vying for Payton's services.
But I understand why that second-round price tag has been thrown out there in some speculation so far -- especially if it becomes clear Payton is intent on leaving.
The Saints aren't going to force Payton to stay if he wants out. So they might not be in a position to play hardball with the compensation.
Below are seven recent examples of what it cost teams to hire away coaches who were under contract with other clubs. Keep in mind, they aren't technically trades. Rather, the two teams are allowed to agree on a compensation arrangement before any hiring talks are allowed to begin.
Jon Gruden, 2002. The Buccaneers sent two first-round picks (2002, 2003), two second-round picks (2002, 2004) and $8 million to the Raiders.
Dick Vermeil, 2001. The NFL ruled that the Chiefs had to send a second-rounder (2001) and a third-rounder (2002) to the St. Louis Rams, where Vermeil had been working as a consultant.
Marty Schottenheimer, 2001. The Washington Redskins sent two third-round picks (2001, 2002) to Kansas City. Schottenheimer had been out of coaching for two years after resigning in 1999, but he remained under contract with the Chiefs.
Bill Belichick, 2000. The New England Patriots sent a first-round pick (2000), a fourth-round pick (2001) and a seventh-rounder (2001) to the Jets in exchange for Belichick, a fifth-round pick (2001) and a seventh-round pick (2002).
Mike Holmgren, 1999. The Seahawks sent a second-round pick (1999) to the Packers.
Bill Parcells, 1997. The Jets sent a first-round pick (1999), a second-rounder (1998), a third-rounder (1997) and a fourth-rounder (1997) to the Patriots.