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Panthers' Interview With Sean Payton Reportedly 'On Hold'

Sean Payton on the sidelines in New Orleans

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 09: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers' interview with Sean Payton, scheduled for Friday, is now reportedly on hold.

There's a good reason for the delay. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the group of Panthers brass that had been in New York conducting interviews flew home Thursday following the death of Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes.

"The group was to interview Sean Payton Friday. That’s now on hold as owner David Tepper spends time supporting the grieving players," Rapoport tweeted.

Walkes, 25, died early Thursday morning after being involved in a boating accident in Florida on Wednesday afternoon. 

Obviously, interviewing Payton is a major priority for Tepper and the Panthers, but kudos to the 65-year-old owner for recognizing that there are more pressing matters at the moment. 

Payton has already interviewed with the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos this week. The Arizona Cardinals have also received permission to interview the former New Orleans Saints head coach, who is under contract through 2024.

The Saints are reportedly looking for a package that includes two first-round picks as compensation for another team hiring Payton.