What do the Panthers, Texans, Cardinals and Broncos have to offer the Saints for Payton?

Note: This file has been updated to reflect Frank Reich being named the coach of the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.

The NFL could see its first blockbuster coaching trade since 2002 this offseason.

Coaching trades are rare in the NFL because they involves sending draft picks in exchange for the rights to the coach's contract, but the market for former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton might change that. A coaching trade has not involved a first-round pick since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired Jon Gruden from the Raiders in 2002 for two picks in the first round and two in the second.

Payton stepped down from his coaching position in 2022 after 15 seasons with New Orleans, where he compiled a 152-89 record and won Super Bowl XLIV.

But even though Payton -- who is working as an analyst for Fox -- isn't currently coaching, the Saints hold his rights for the next two seasons, meaning any franchise that wants him to be its next coach would have to compensate his former team.

Of the current four teams with open coaching positions, the Saints granted permission to the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals to speak with Payton to see if there's any interest to take the next steps and begin to negotiate. The Indianapolis Colts don't appear to be in the chase for Payton, having not sought permission from the Saints to interview him. The NFC South rival Carolina Panthers also interviewed Payton, but they chose to hire former Colts coach Frank Reich on Thursday.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has been coy about what it would take to get Payton, as every team involved has different assets available, but other factors could be involved as well. The asking price for a division rival such as the Panthers would likely be higher than for an AFC team the Saints rarely face.

Payton could also choose to stay out of coaching or not be hired in the 2023 cycle, which would probably drop the asking price significantly next year.

Here are the teams that have expressed interest in Payton, the assets they have available and how they might persuade him to join their franchise in 2023:

Arizona Cardinals

What's the pitch from the GM to Payton?

There are three pitches general manager Monti Ossenfort can throw at Payton:

1. It's an hour flight to Los Angeles, where Payton currently resides.

2. It's a dry heat. No more coaching in the humidity.

3. The Cardinals have an offensive roster that's built to win -- and win now.

Arizona has the skill players needed to not just make the playoffs but make some noise in the postseason once it's there, starting with quarterback Kyler Murray. Of the teams vying for Payton, Arizona is the only one with an established young quarterback. From there, the Cardinals can boast about wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins (for now), Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore; tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey McBride; and running back James Conner. With a rebuilt line, that's an offense that can win 10 to 12 games with the right coach.

What draft capital does your team have to offer?

The Cardinals have the No. 3 overall pick this year, but that's unlikely to be moved for a coach. However, it's not unreasonable to think Arizona could, or would, trade its second- or third-round picks. It also has a fourth-rounder and a sixth-rounder this year. What could help the Cardinals is that they still have all of their prime picks for the following two years. -- Josh Weinfuss

Denver Broncos

What's the pitch from the GM to Payton?

Start with three Super Bowl trophies, fan support with a current home-game sellout streak that dates back to 1970 and the richest ownership group in the NFL, with the funds to do whatever it wants, including making a coach one of the highest-paid in the NFL.

The Broncos finished the season with 22 players on injured reserve, but the roster includes plenty of youth as well as star power in quarterback Russell Wilson, conerback Pat Surtain II, safety Justin Simmons, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, left tackle Garett Bolles and running back Javonte Williams.

Fixing Wilson's play, or at least getting it far closer to the final two games of the season, when he had six touchdowns under interim coach Jerry Rosburg, is at the top of the to-do list.

What draft capital does your team have to offer?

Here is the rub (and it's a big one) for the Broncos. In the wake of last year's trade to acquire Wilson, Denver has the least to offer in terms of draft picks. It might have to offer so much (of what's left) in a trade for Payton that it would essentially be left with minimal picks -- making his job much more difficult.

The Broncos traded five draft picks (including two first-rounders and two second-rounders) to acquire Wilson last March and now have the first-rounder they acquired from the Miami Dolphins for Bradley Chubb. However, that pick comes via the San Francisco 49ers -- so it now will be the 28th, 30th or 31st pick depending on how the Niners fare in their the Super Bowl run.

The Broncos don't have a second- or seventh-rounder in April, but they have two third-round picks as part of their six total. They also have six picks (no sixth-rounder) in 2024. -- Jeff Legwold

Houston Texans

What's the pitch from the GM to Payton?

The Texans' roster needs work, but it's not devoid of talent.

There are promising young playmakers on both sides of the ball in safety Jalen Pitre, ,cornerback Derek Stingley and running back Dameon Pierce. Pierce finished with 1,104 scrimmage yards in 13 games and Pitre had 147 tackles and five interceptions.

Offensive tackle is one of the most valuable positions in the NFL and the Texans are set there with Tytus Howard and Laremy Tunsil. The duo combined to allow fewer than three sacks this season. The team's cap space situation is one of the best in the NFL, so Houston can be aggressive in free agency.

What draft capital does your team have to offer?

Among their 11 picks in 2023, the Texans have Nos. 2 and 12 overall. The Texans also hold the No. 33 overall pick and two third-rounders. They have nine picks in 2024, including two in both the first and fourth rounds. -- D.J. Bien-Aime

Here's what the Carolina Panthers had to offer

Ideally, the Panthers didn't want to give up the No. 9 overall pick, but it was there. The Panthers also have two second-round picks this year and two fourth-round picks, and all seven of their picks are in the first five rounds. In 2024, the Panthers also have a pick in each of the first four rounds and two fifth-rounders. -- David Newton

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter Katherine Terrell contributed to this report.