HomeSportsNFLCarolina Panthers Owner Reschedules Sean Payton Interview Because of Death of Charlotte FC Player

Carolina Panthers Owner Reschedules Sean Payton Interview Because of Death of Charlotte FC Player

by Suzanne Halliburton
sean payton interview with carolina on hold for now
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

David Tepper, the owner of the Carolina Panthers, rescheduled an interview with coaching candidate Sean Payton after Tepper rushed back from New York because of the death of soccer player Anton Walkes.

ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter reported that the Payton interview now is set for Monday.

Walkes Played One Season for Tepper’s Charlotte FC

Tepper owns both the Panthers and Charlotte FC, an MLS franchise. Walkes, a 25-year-old from England, died Thursday. He’d been in a boat accident in Miami the day before. The Miami Herald reported that two boats collided with each other off the waters of Miami Marine Stadium. First responders with the Miami Fire Department performed CPR on Walkes then rushed him to the hospital, The soccer team was in the middle of a 12-day preseason training camp in Fort Lauderdale.

Sean Payton is a candidate for several head coaching jobs in the NFL. The Denver Broncos and Houston Texans interviewed him this week for their vacancies. In fact, he could be the leading candidate for the Broncos. Embattled Denver quarterback Russell Wilson already has reached out to Payton about the job. According to a report, Wilson knows his game needs improvement and wants Payton to help him. Payton won a Super Bowl with Drew Brees.

Panthers Are Looking at Sean Payton After Firing Matt Rhule at Mid-Season

The Panthers are looking for a new coach after firing Matt Rhule at mid-season. But hiring Payton comes at a steep cost. Although he retired after the 2021 season, he’s still under contract with the Saints. Any team who hires him likely will need to send at least one first-round draft pick to New Orleans. And, Payton wants up to $25 million a year for his salary.

While Denver may be the favorite, Carolina is in contention. Jordan Schultz told podcaster Pat McAfee that the top two teams for Payton’s services are the Broncos and Panthers.