Before Sean Payton finalized a deal with the Broncos to become the franchise’s new head coach, his name was linked to several NFL jobs, including the Texans, Cardinals and Panthers.
However, as the dust settles on Payton’s new gig, Payton—a former Fox NFL analyst—reportedly had no desire to work for the Cardinals because he did not want to coach Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, according to Fox NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw.
When the NFL legend was asked by Altitude Sports Radio about Payton’s interest in the Cardinals coaching job on Tuesday, Bradshaw said “no” and that Payton “did not want to work with the quarterback.”
The notion that Payton didn’t want to work with Murray comes as a surprise, because NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported last month that Payton was a “fan” of Murray. Payton also had spoken highly of Murray before he was selected No. 1 in the 2019 NFL draft.
“Man, he's explosive,” Payton said ahead of the draft. “…It's so hard to rush him because he can flush to the right, make a play, to the left. You do feel a poise that he plays with. … His film is too good. Ultimately, when I say, it's too good. And I like him.”
Murray signed a five-year, $230 million contract with the Cardinals in late August.
Bradshaw then revealed that he believes Payton took the Broncos job in spite of Denver quarterback Russell Wilson, who endured his worst season as a professional in 2022. Specifically, Bradshaw was asked if he thinks Payton would rather work with Wilson than Murray.
“Uh, I don’t think so,” Bradshaw told Altitude Sports Radio with a hearty laugh. “But you know what? That’s all he’s got. He’s got no choice.”
Wilson signed a five-year contract extension worth a potential $245 million with the Broncos prior to the 2022 season. Denver holds his contractual rights through the 2028 season.