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Sean Payton turned down Cardinals job for 1 reason?

Sean Payton looks ahead

Aug 9, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton was linked to the Arizona Cardinals even before Kliff Kingsbury was fired, but Payton never really seemed to have interest in the job. There may have been one big reason for that.

Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw spoke with some reporters in Arizona on Tuesday ahead of the Super Bowl. Bradshaw, who worked alongside Payton as an analyst for FOX this season, shared some interesting information about how Payton landed with the Denver Broncos. According to Bradshaw, Payton passed on the Cardinals because “he didn’t want to work with that quarterback.”

That quarterback, of course, is Kyler Murray. You can hear Bradshaw’s comments at around the 40-second mark of the video below:

Bradshaw also indicated that Payton did not want to work with Russell Wilson, so the coach may have taken the Broncos job in spite of their quarterback situation — not because of it.

Murray signed a five-year, $230.5 million extension with Arizona last offseason. He is tied to the franchise through 2028, with a potential out after the 2027 season. Murray is 25 and nearly 10 years younger than the 34-year-old Wilson.

If Payton was not thrilled about coaching either Murray or Wilson, it makes sense for him to choose the latter. The Denver job is overall more appealing, and the Broncos can cut Wilson after the 2025 season and take a $31 million salary cap hit if things don’t work out. Even though Wilson and Murray are both signed through 2028, the Broncos have an easier path to starting fresh at the QB position much sooner.

The Cardinals are now said to be down to two finalists for their head coach job.


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