DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Broncos have reached a deal to hire Sean Payton as head coach and will send draft picks to the New Orleans Saints, according to an Associated Press source.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter said in a tweet Tuesday, “Saints and Broncos are finalizing compensation in return for Super Bowl-winning HC Sean Payton, sources tell ESPN. This clears the way for Payton to sign with the Broncos to become Denver’s next head coach. And so Payton is expected to head to Denver as its next HC.”

Payton was still under contract with the Saints after stepping down as head coach, which is why Denver needed to trade for him to come to the Mile High City.

The person who spoke in anonymity to the AP said the Broncos will send a first-round pick in this year’s draft and a future second-rounder to the Saints in order to get Payton in Denver.

Broncos post-Hackett

The team parted ways with Nathaniel Hackett on Dec. 26 after his single season as head coach and a losing record of 4-11 while he was at the helm.

Hackett was replaced by senior assistant coach Jerry Rosburg as the interim head coach. The Broncos narrowly lost to the Kansas City Chiefs and beat the Los Angeles Chargers under Rosburg to end the season 5-12.

With Rosburg in charge, quarterback Russell Wilson looked more like the nine-time Pro Bowler he was with the Seattle Seahawks in the 27-24 loss at Kansas City and a 31-28 win over the Chargers, giving the team a glimmer of hope that his poor performance in 2022 was more about a bad fit than a slippage of his skills.

Along with Payton, the organization had conversations with Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Team plagued with injuries

The Broncos’ dismal season wasn’t all on Hackett but the team knew it needed to make a change. With a league-high 22 players on injured reserve, including Garett Bolles, Javonte Williams and Tim Patrick, the team was already at a disadvantage.

Several players missed multiple games during the season because of injuries, which severely weakened an already thin offense, but the defense remained solid throughout the season.

This is a breaking story and will be updated if and when a deal is finalized.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.