Houston Texans news: Sean Payton price tag, evaluating coaches, more

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton speaks ( Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports)
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton speaks ( Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports) /

If the Houston Texans are thinking about getting rid of Lovie Smith and hiring former Saints head coach Sean Payton, they’re gonna have to pay a price.

It’s going to be a price that a team that has plenty of holes on the roster isn’t likely going to want to pay. On the other hand, when one of the best head coaches in this generation of the NFL is available to be had, perhaps a rebuilding team that has the ability to make that payment does so, with the understanding that Payton is going to have to be given some time to put his stamp on the organization.

On Sunday, as the Houston Texans and other organizations long out of the playoff race started to look at what they need to do to try and compete, a new report surfaced. The New Orleans Saints are willing to part with the rights to Payton, but it’s going to cost whoever wants him, a first round draft pick.

That’s certainly a hefty price tag, but the Houston Texans are in a unique situation in that regard. They happen to have two first-round picks this year. So if Houston decides it can part with the pick it received from the Cleveland Browns as part of the Deshaun Watson trade, they could get themselves a very good coach.

Other Houston Texans news

  • One potential hangup with any Sean Payton deal is that the Texans might not be convinced it’s time to part ways with Lovie Smith. A new report says the team is going to evaluate “everyone” when the season is over. The same people who are saying that are hinting that a change at coordinators might be needed. The writing on the wall seems to be that while Lovie Smith might return in 2023, Pep Hamilton is likely on his way out.
  • If Pep Hamilton wasn’t in trouble before this week’s game, he likely is now. As Aaron Wilson of  KPRC 2 pointed out, even the Texans coaches had to admit that the offense reached new levels of ineptitude on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s hard to imagine what an evaluation that decides Hamilton should stay would look like.

Around the NFL

  • This weekend, a couple of wild card teams punched their tickets to the playoffs. That included the New York Giants, who routed the hapless Indianapolis Colts in order to clinch their first playoff appearance since 2016. In the process, Jeff Daboll likely cemented NFL Coach of the Year honors considering a remarkably similar Giants roster last year went 3-14.
  • Speaking of the Colts, while there is some talk that Jeff Saturday could still be retained as the permanent head coach, Sunday was another notch in the column as to why he shouldn’t be kept. Since taking a 33-0 lead over the playoff-bound Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago, the Colts have been outscored 97-16 in the last 2.5 games. Add in the fact that they lost to the Cowboys 54-19 the week before the biggest collapse in NFL history and it’s hard to fathom a worse team over the last four weeks.
  • Of all the teams to punch their playoff ticket so far, the Tampa Bay Bucs might be the weirdest. They rallied to beat the Carolina Panthers 30-24. In the process they took the NFC South crown. It is conceivable, considering there isn’t much more at stake, that they could sit starters next week against the Atlanta Falcons. Should they lose because they’re without Brady and company, they could enter the playoffs with an 8-9 record.
  • The only thing weirder than the Bucs story is that if the Tennessee Titans beat the Jaguars next Sunday, both the AFC and NFC South division champions will enter the playoffs with losing records. Perhaps that should be a sign of immediate playoff chances with the right head coach next year for the Houston Texans.