The Vikings Will Play Against Sean Payton in 2023
On Tuesday afternoon, the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints agreed to a trade that will send Sean Payton and a 2024 third-round pick to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick that will go back to New Orleans, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The first-round pick is via San Francisco and is the 29th overall pick in the draft.
Payton spent 15 years as the Saints head coach from 2006-21, winning a Super Bowl during 2009 with New Orleans. Along the way, they beat the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. Following the 2021 season, Payton retired from coaching and spent the 2022 season with FOX as an analyst. It has been expected that he would eventually become a coach again, though.
Now during the 2023 season, the Vikings will once again meet up with Payton when they travel to the mile-high city and take on the Broncos. It’s unknown exactly when that game will take place at this time.
This is the second straight offseason where the Broncos have made big splashes to acquire either a player or coach. Last year, it was the blockbuster trade to acquire QB Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks. In that deal, they sent five total picks, including two first-rounders.
Of course, the first year of Wilson in Denver did not go nearly as well as many had hoped, with the Broncos finishing 5-12. During the season, they fired their first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett, and now, they get his replacement in Payton.
Payton’s history against the Vikings, in particular, is a mixed bag. He has the aforementioned NFC title game victory over them, but in their most recent playoff matchups, the Vikings won in both the 2017 and 2019 seasons. However, Payton dominated the Vikings in their most recent matchup on Christmas Day during the 2020 season. The Saints won 52-33, and Alvin Kamara rushed for 155 yards and 6 TDs in that game.
We’ll see if the Vikings can get revenge on the former Saints head coach in the 2023 regular season. The regular season schedule is expected to be announced sometime in either April or May.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.