A Saints reporter reveals why the Broncos’ pursuit of Sean Payton has gone awry.

A Saints reporter has confirmed details of a cryptic tweet indicating why the Broncos’ search for Sean Payton has become so complicated.

The fact that the New Orleans Saints own the coaching rights to Sean Payton has sparked a lot of interest as to where, if ever, the former coach will end up as head coach. The Saints need to sign his rights so he can take another head coaching job, and he’s a hot enough name to command a few draft picks for desperately needed New Orleans.

It felt like Payton and the Denver Broncos opener was a perfect match. The Broncos, at one point, were ready to sign the check on his huge, desired salary and send the picks New Orleans wanted.

Then suddenly Payton’s name was not mentioned in the reports for the second round of interviews, which at first didn’t make sense.

The market, as a whole, disappeared for Payton almost overnight. For the other teams, it made sense, because the double investment for Payton when it comes to salary… and it’s a lot to digest. But for the Broncos, who were fine with it, it didn’t work out.

Earlier today, I connected a few dots. A cryptic tweet from New Orleans reporter Jeff Duncan earlier this week hinted at an unknown factor in the Broncos’ process. Then this morning it was reported that the Broncos brought in Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, who had been out of an NFL coaching job for two weeks, at a secret meeting in Ann Arbor last week with the owners of the Broncos.

I thought maybe Duncan’s cryptic tweet was about Harbaugh. Turns out, according to Jeff, that’s what he was referring to:

Jim Harbaugh changed the game for the Denver Broncos

So we know that somehow the Broncos and Payton didn’t follow through, at least at this point, because Jim Harbaugh came into the game. Reports have suggested the Broncos are interviewing almost everyone they can, taking a wide angle to find their next head coach.

Duncan went on to suggest that he could see a world in which the Broncos and Payton get along, but there are « issues on both sides » that need to be resolved.

Denver clearly has options. New Orleans just has to sit back and see how it goes, and to some extent, Michigan too.

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