Denver Broncos trade for Sean Payton; Houston Texans hire DeMeco Ryans

By Adam Burke  ( 

January 31, 2023 04:36 PM

New NFL head coaches for Broncos and Texans going into 2023 season

It’s easy to forget that there are 30 other NFL teams when looking ahead to the Super Bowl, but those organizations are trying to do what they can to be playing at this time next postseason instead of preparing for the NFL Draft.

The Denver Broncos traded for Sean Payton, whose rights were still held by the New Orleans Saints, by sending the 29th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and a 2024 second-round pick for Payton and a 2024 third-round pick.

This move came because former San Francisco 49ers head coach DeMeco Ryans reportedly told the Broncos that he would take the head coaching job with the Houston Texans, so Denver moved on the Payton trade. Ryans will take over in Houston where he won the 2006 Defensive Rookie of the Year and played for six seasons.

Sean Payton new Broncos head coach

You would think that the bar is really low for Payton after the outright debacle that was the Nathaniel Hackett era, but he came at a really big cost. First-round picks in the NFL tend to do pretty well and this is a Broncos team that absolutely has some needs. Payton is also tasked with resurrecting the career of Russell Wilson, a player that the Broncos gave up two first-round picks to acquire, including one that became a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

So, now you have a scenario where Payton + Wilson cost three first-round picks, three second-round picks and some other odds and ends. That is a sky-high cost given the value that draft capital can bring.

In 15 years with the Saints, Payton went 152-89, including a missed 2012 season serving a suspension for his role in the “Bountygate” scandal. Payton is 9-8 in 17 career playoff games with the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII championship to his name.

Denver Broncos Super Bowl odds

We’re still waiting to crown a champion for this season, but odds are out for next season already. The Broncos went from +4000 at DraftKings Sportsbook down to +2800.

Max Meyer tweeted that Caesars had taken 10 Super Bowl bets on the Broncos from Jan. 26 until today, but took 17 bets in the first 10 minutes after the news broke. According to Meyer, all the bets got in at 45/1, which was where the line still sat at time of publish.

The full 2023 NFL schedule isn’t out yet, but by virtue of finishing in last place in the AFC West, the Broncos get the Browns, Texans and Commanders as part of next season’s schedule to go along with their six division games and games against the AFC East and NFC North.

DeMeco Ryans new Texans head coach

Ryans was one of the architects of the best defense in the NFL last season with the 49ers, but he faces a lot of challenges in Houston. Ryans will get the benefit of the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but that just makes his offensive coordinator hire the most important first act in that job.

The Texans won 11 games in 2018 and 10 games in 2019 under Bill O’Brien, who was recently hired as the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. Over the last three seasons, the Texans have won 11 games total. They had an interim head coach in 2020 when Romeo Crennel took over after the firing of O’Brien after an 0-4 start. They had one-and-done head coaches in David Culley and Lovie Smith the last two seasons.

Not surprisingly, there was no rush to bet Texans futures, as they still sit at +10000 at DraftKings Sportsbook. The 38-year-old Ryans only spent two seasons as San Francisco’s defensive coordinator following three seasons as the team’s inside linebackers coach and one as a defensive quality control analyst.

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