Similar to four other teams across the NFL, the Carolina Panthers are in need of a new head coach.
All five of these organizations have been searching tirelessly for their new leader since the end of their 2022 seasons.
The Panthers have been one of, if not the most aggressive team up to this point.
The #Panthers have interviewed nine candidates. I think a shoe probably needs to drop on the NFL coaching carousel (Payton Watch) before second interviews take place.
Shane Steichen can't be interviewed in person until Jan. 30 at the earliest. All the rest can be hired now.
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) January 24, 2023
The regular season has been concluded for just over two weeks, and the Panthers have already conducted nine head coaching interviews.
As the above tweet alludes to, the Panthers are not likely to make any sort of head coaching decisions until after a coach has been hired.
Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been one of the most intriguing candidates of the cycle.
The Panthers did conduct an interview with Payton on Monday, and recent reporting would dictate that Payton is their preferred candidate.
Until he is hired, either by the Panthers or another team, it will be difficult for the Panthers to go through any second interviews, considering the caliber of coach that Payton is.
Payton’s experience as the head coach of the Saints makes him the ideal coach for a team like the Panthers, who are in full rebuild mode.
In 2022, they traded their best player in Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, indicating that they are looking towards their future rather than the present.
Who will ultimately win the Payton sweepstakes?
At this point in time, that is the most pressing question for the teams that are on the head coach hunt.