Imagine you are Sean Payton. Typically, teams choose from a pool of candidates. In practical terms, Payton gets to pick which team signs him.

There are five teams with a head coaching opening, and four of them have requested interviews with Payton. Which opening is the best? There are many things that go into ranking landing sites.

Let’s include the Indianapolis Coltsthe only team with an opening that didn’t ask to speak to Payton, and rank which job is the best:

The Texans desperately need to hire a head coach. Whoever is hired will be the team’s fourth coach in four seasons. The Texans had two back-to-back coaches, which speaks to the horrible decisions the franchise has made. Ownership is a big problem. And for a team that’s 11-38-1 over the past three seasons, there aren’t many exciting young players on the roster. Bad trades and mediocre drafts continue to hurt the franchise.

The Texans have the second pick in this year’s draft, but even that didn’t work out very well; Houston won in the regular season finale, and as a result, the Chicago Bears earned the first pick. Any team can turn things around with a good head coach and a couple of good picks. But until further notice, Houston is the NFL’s dead-end franchise. The only good thing that can be said about this opening is that the bar for success is very, very low.

kyler murray he probably wasn’t a $230 million quarterback when he was healthy. But that’s the contract he got last year, and that was before he tore his ACL late in the season. Murray might not be ready for the start of the season and for a quarterback who relies so heavily on his mobility, there’s a chance he won’t be the same player when he returns. Take that uncertainty and add it to a roster that’s short on top-tier players.

The Cardinals don’t have much of a history, either. They have the longest championship drought in American professional sports, having won only one playoff game since the end of the 2009 season, and have made the playoffs once since the end of the 2015 season. It is one of the perennial losing franchises of the NFL, with an injured and likely overpaid quarterback and a roster that needs a lot of work. Not good.

3. Indianapolis Colts

Forget the Jeff Saturday circus, which made team owner Jim Irsay look like he was losing his temper. The Colts are a favorite team to win the AFC South a few months back. They need a quarterback, they have the fourth pick in the draft, which could solve that problem, but there are plenty of other good players on the roster.

Things turned sour for the Colts in a hurry this season, Saturday’s interim signing made the Colts a laughingstock, Irsay is as unpredictable as any NFL team owner, but at least there’s hope this isn’t a long-term rebuild.

Colts fans are asking for help to turn their team around.  (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

Colts fans are asking for help to turn their team around. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

This job looked pretty bad when Nathaniel Hackett got fired. Then, in the last two games, the team looked better, russell wilson he played his two best games of the season and suddenly there was some hope (which is why we need to ignore the “what’s the point of firing the coach in the middle of the season?” crowd). Now maybe you can sell a new head coach that Wilson’s struggles are entirely down to Hackett.

Plus, the new ownership group has as much money as anyone in the NFL, so it can spend lavishly on a new head coach. It’s a franchise that’s been good for decades, too, though the years after 2015 have been sparse.

Firing Hackett when the Broncos did, giving the team time to finish strong, made this start look that much better.

Here’s the difference between this job and the Broncos job: A franchise has to deal with patrick mahomes Y justin herbert for the next decade, while the other has to deal with… Desmond Ridder? kyle trask? Who do the Saints find for 2023?

Carolina also has a question about the quarterback, but if she can answer it, the division is there for the taking. The rest of the roster isn’t too bad and played well for interim head coach Steve Wilks. A new coach could be walking his way to a freshman division title. Team owner David Tepper will spend whatever it takes to get that quarterback. He also seems hard to work for because he is impulsive and doesn’t seem to understand the business of the NFL very well. Still, he’d probably rather have an overly aggressive franchise owner than a cheap one. There’s a clear path to instant success, and depending on how quickly other teams figure out the quarterback position, the Panthers could run the division for a few years.

(Michael Wagstaffe/Yahoo Sports)

(Michael Wagstaffe/Yahoo Sports)

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