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Check out all five head coaches searching for positions heading into Super Wild Card Weekend

Sean Payton’s saga reached its climax when he interviewed with the Broncos in Los Angeles on Tuesday — a pursuit that will have knock-on effects for the rest of this recruiting cycle.

The Texans and Cardinals also received permission from the Saints to talk to Payton about their work, and sources say those interviews should also take place next week, assuming Denver doesn’t Make the first move to lock down Payton.

Payton did his homework on all three possible landing spots and all three are considered viable options . General manager Mitch Loomis told reporters the teams were “very aware” the Saints wanted compensation for Payton, who announced last January that he would be leaving the team but remains under contract with New Orleans through the 2024 season. . The Saints are expected to ask for a first-round pick and more, with three teams still in it, showing they’re at least willing to consider paying the price.

All clubs must abide by the Rooney Rules – including face-to-face interviews with at least two external minority candidates – Then offer Payton the job or trade. But things could escalate quickly once those teams meet him face-to-face next week.

Based on conversations with sources familiar with the process, here are all five head coach searches heading into Super Wild Card Weekend Position:

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh conducted a virtual interview for more than two hours last Monday, and if the school does not first sign Under his contract extension, he may have an in-person interview at some point. Along with Payton, Harbaugh enters as a favorite for the Broncos’ new regime and will be the kind of big fish Denver’s new owner wants to catch. But they also hope to speak next week with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who was interviewed for his work last year. Quinn is close to Broncos general manager George Payton and would be a strong candidate for the job if he is willing to work with Denver again. The 49ers’ DC DeMeco Ryans may also be interviewed next week. The Broncos have already interviewed their current defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, former Stanford coach David Shaw and former NFL coach Jim Caldwell over the past week, and still plan to interview Rams DC Raheem after interviewing Payton in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Morris

Arizona’s GM search could end in the next few days, although some head coaching candidates (i.e. Payton) may wish to Have a say in GM hiring. The Cardinals have interviewed internal candidates Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris as well as former Giants general manager Jerry Reese, Bears assistant general manager Ian Cunningham, Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hotis and the Titans Director of Player Personnel Monty Olson Ford. They also requested an interview with Ran Carthon, the 49ers’ director of player personnel. Aside from Payton, the only two known head coach interview requests are with Demeco Reigns and former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who is now a defensive assistant for the Steelers. Cardinals DC Vance Joseph is likely to interview in the middle of next week and is considered a strong insider candidate for the job.

Colts scheduled to interview Eagles offensive coordinator Sean Steichen and Lions defensive coordinator today member Aaron Glenn, wrapping up their first period. (They also interviewed special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone, Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, Broncos DC Ejiro Evero, Lions OC Ben Johnson and Rams DC Raheem Morris in recent days). But expect them to field more interview requests in the next few days for coaches who played in the wild-card game and therefore were not eligible for interviews last week. Interim coach Jeff Saturday also remains a candidate, at least in owner Jim Irsay’s mind, and despite his limited coaching experience and a 1-7 record after replacing Frank Reich, he’s perhaps the best candidate for the job. .

The Panthers also interviewed Shane Steichen today – their only virtual interview with a current NFL assistant once Allow most of their candidates to attend face-to-face meetings starting Tuesday. Ben Johnson, whose name is hot this cycle, is one of those expected to meet boss David Tepper, with a face-to-face interview scheduled for January 18. The team also requested interviews with several other OCs, including Giants’ Mike Kafka, Cowboys’ Kellen Moore and Bills’ Ken Dorsey, as well as DCs DeMeco Ryans and Jerod Mayo, who are expected to stay with the Patriots. Interim coach Steve Wilkes made a point after going 6-6 after replacing Matt Ruller, who remains a candidate after an interview last week. Carolina also interviewed Jim Caldwell and Frank Reich.

Houston interviewed Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon today, who interviewed twice a year ago before accidentally hiring Lovie Smith, and has a good relationship with general manager Nick Caserio. Gannon is poised to be one of the top candidates. But it’s still early in the Houston process. They also spoke with Ben Johnson and Shane Steichen. Ejiro Evero and Rams assistant head coach Thomas Brown are expected to fly to Houston next week for interviews. The team also asked to sign Mike Kafka and DeMeco Ryans, a former Texans player who will be a fan favorite. The slate is very young, as the Texans are looking for the right leader for a young team. But Sean Payton’s name is also important here, and he has the opportunity to build a ton of cap space and draft picks from the ground up, including the No. 2 pick in 2023.

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