Broncos new head coach Sean Payton is introduced during a...

Broncos new head coach Sean Payton is introduced during a news conference at the team's headquarters on Monday in Centennial, Colo. Credit: AP/David Zalubowski

PHOENIX – Terry Bradshaw indicated that his former FOX co-analyst Sean Payton returned to coaching with the Broncos not for the opportunity to work with Russell Wilson but despite having to work with Russell Wilson... for this year at least.

“We hung with him,” Bradshaw said at the network’s media availability at the Super Bowl on Tuesday. “We drank beer. He drank my whiskey. We would talk and he would talk and talk and talk.”

When that happened, Bradshaw said the conversation would turn to coaching opportunities. Bradshaw said Payton couldn’t go to the Panthers because they are in the NFC South and the Saints, who held his rights, would never allow him to coach a division rival. He didn’t want to go to the Texans because they don’t have a quarterback.

“And you don’t want to be in Houston,” Bradshaw said.

That left two other possible openings.

How about the Cardinals?

“No,” Bradshaw said citing Kyler Murray as the main issue. “That quarterback, he didn’t want to work with that quarterback.”

But he wanted to work with Wilson?

“I don’t think so,” Bradshaw said, bursting out in laughter. “But that’s all he’s got. He’s got no choice. But I’ll tell you one thing, he’ll get the most out of him.”

The Broncos gave up a first round pick in 2023 and a second rounder in 2024 in exchange for Payton (they also get back a future third rounder from the Saints). Oh, and they are also going to reportedly pay Payton around $18 million per season, making him among the highest compensated coaches in the NFL.  

While the Broncos signed Wilson to a five-year, $242 million deal last offseason, Bradshaw further implied that Payton may want to make a change at that key position at some point.

“He’s going to be a successful coach because he is going to get that team and he’s going to create that makeup,” Bradshaw said, “and that doesn’t mean it’s going to be with the people who are there.”

Not that anyone should be feeling sorry for Wilson. If anything, Bradshaw said, we should feel sorry for… Bradshaw!

“He’s never going to have to do this and sit here,” Bradshaw said of making a living in broadcasting after a playing career. After citing Wilson’s contract numbers (he was off on the years and the value) Bradshaw said: “That makes me sick. Man alive. Three hundred grand I made, that was the most I made. Ain’t that sad?”

Sounds like a reason for more whiskey.

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