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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Articles tagged: Denver Broncos

Report: Broncos considering surprise candidate for head coach

Russell Wilson with headphones on

Aug 13, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) before the preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are at least considering an unexpected candidate for their vacant head coach position.

Broncos interim coach Jerry Rosburg expressed interest in the permanent job and his candidacy will at least be considered, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Rosburg outlined his vision for the Broncos in a year-end meeting and the organization was willing to give him the opportunity to do so.

Even if Rosburg gets some consideration, he has to be seen as a major long-shot for the job. The Broncos were competitive in his two games as interim coach, going 1-1, but Rosburg is 67 and unlikely to be a long-term solution. There was also some chatter that he rubbed veteran players the wrong way with one move he made.

The Broncos appear to be targeting some of the best coaches available as they look to replace Nathaniel Hackett, who failed to last a full season as a head coach.

Sean Payton to decide between 2 teams?

Sean Payton looks ahead

Aug 9, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton is viewed as a strong candidate for just about every NFL head coaching vacancy, but his decision may ultimately come down to two teams.

Jordan Schultz of The Score told “The Pat McAfee Show” on Friday that he thinks the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are the most likely suitors for Payton. The 59-year-old coach is said to be seeking somewhere in the range of $20-25 million annually, and both teams seem very willing to give it to him the money and surrender the necessary draft picks.

“The asking price is enormous. It’s at least one first-round pick. I can confirm that he wants at least $20 million per year … Somebody’s gonna pay it to him,” Schultz said. “David Tepper, the Panthers’ owner, would go all-in and basically do anything Sean Payton wanted to get him. That’s how badly the Panthers want him. The question is can they pry him away from Denver? I think those are the top two.”

Payton has also been linked to the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. Schultz said he does not view Houston as a realistic option, and he wonders if Payton will be worried that Kyler Murray tore his ACL so late in the 2022 season. There are concerns that Murray could miss some of next season depending on how his rehab goes.

You can hear more below:

We know one quarterback has been recruiting Payton hard, so that could also influence his decision.

Payton has said his relationship with ownership and the front office will be the most important factor in making a decision. Both the Broncos and Panthers are clearly willing to accommodate him with just about anything he wants.

Sean Payton reportedly being recruited hard by star QB

Sean Payton on the sideline

Aug 23, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks on during the second half against Jacksonville Jaguars at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have made it no secret that they badly want Sean Payton, and Russell Wilson is trying to do his part to help the team land its top head coach target.

Colin Cowherd said on “The Herd” Thursday that he had dinner with Payton recently and discussed the Broncos job. One of the things Cowherd gathered is that Wilson badly wants Payton to coach him and believes the former Super Bowl champion can fix the issues the quarterback had in 2022.

“Most people understand the problem with Russell right now. He’s too isolated. He’s got this chiropractor and this throwing coach and his own office,” Cowherd said. “Though it doesn’t bother me, there is a sense that Russell is a little isolated from a lot of the young players and young receivers on the team.

“They believe in Denver that Sean can fix it. Russell Wilson has contacted Sean — legally by the way — through channels. He wants Sean Payton. He needs fixing. He knows he needs fixing.”

The Broncos were a total disaster under Nathaniel Hackett. They had one of the worst offenses in the NFL, and Wilson looked like his best football was ages behind him. Some believe that will scare Payton away from the Denver job, but Cowherd insists the 59-year-old has legitimate interest.

Denver has a new ownership group that is willing to spend big. That is important considering how much money Payton reportedly wants.

It makes sense that Wilson would want Payton as his coach. Payton is one of the best offensive minds in the sport. If anyone can quickly fix the issues the Broncos had this season, it is him.

H/T Zac Stevens

Report: Jim Harbaugh has ‘strong mutual interest’ with 1 NFL team

Jim Harbaugh wearing sunglasses

Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

One team may be emerging as the most serious suitor for Jim Harbaugh, at least in terms of the two sides having mutual interest.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Saturday that the Denver Broncos coaching search is centered around Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, former Saints coach Sean Payton, and Harbaugh. Harbaugh and the Broncos have talked, and the two sides apparently have mutual interest.

“There is some strong mutual interest. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but at least both sides like each other,” Rapoport said.

The sides have some familiarity considering some of the Broncos’ leadership group have ties to Stanford, where Harbaugh coached from 2007-2010.

While Harbaugh may not be the Broncos’ first choice, he is certainly near the top of the list. The Michigan coach is listening to NFL offers. While Michigan wants to keep him, there is some uncertainty there. Denver could come in and take advantage of that.

Even if Harbaugh does not go to Denver, that will not necessarily be the end of his NFL interest. There is some suggestion he would be interested in other jobs as well.

Report: Sean Payton has 1 favorite team so far

Sean Payton on the sideline

Aug 23, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks on during the second half against Jacksonville Jaguars at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton is exploring a return to the NFL as a head coach for next season, and he reportedly likes one opportunity so far.

The Washington Post’s Mark Maske reported via Twitter Thursday night that Payton views the Denver Broncos job favorably.

“The Broncos appear to be the front-runner for Sean Payton, at least in the early stages of the process. Payton likes the franchise’s stable ownership and would be happy to work with Russell Wilson, source says,” Maske tweeted.

Payton has spoken with the Broncos about their vacancy. He also is set to talk with the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans.

The Broncos have Russell Wilson at quarterback, who is coming off a terrible season. The Broncos gave Wilson a 5-year, $242 million contract extension after trading for him last offseason. He was on a Hall of Fame path prior to the trade, so there is a belief that Payton would be able to get Wilson back on track.

The Cardinals have Kyler Murray at quarterback, and they need a new general manager after parting ways with Steve Keim. Houston is rebuilding and will have the No. 2 overall pick, but they currently lack a quarterback, and their GM has control over personnel issues.

Payton reportedly wants a good ownership and front office situation. Denver has the wealthiest owners in the NFL and is looking to improve the franchise as soon as possible.

Any team would have to compensate the Saints in order to be granted Payton’s rights. Given the Broncos’ situation, they could use a coach with Payton’s record to help deliver stability to the franchise.

David Shaw lands NFL head coach interview for interesting reason

David Shaw at a press conference

Nov 30, 2019; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw addresses the media after a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

David Shaw has landed an NFL head coach interview, and it’s for an interesting reason.

Shaw, the longtime coach at Stanford, resigned in late November from his position. There have not been many rumors involving him until now.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that Shaw interviewed with the Denver Broncos for their head coach job earlier that day.

What would lead an NFL team to have interest in a coach who resigned after consecutive 3-9 season? The ownership group has strong Stanford ties.

Condoleezza Rice is a part-owner of the team and is the director of the Hoover Institute and Stanford. Broncos co-owners Greg and Carrie Penner each received their business desgrees from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Shaw’s interview was in-person on Wednesday according to Mike Klis.

Shaw, 50, has deep ties to Stanford. He was a wide receiver at the school before becoming an offensive coordinator at his alma mater under Jim Harbaugh from 2007-2010. He became the head coach after Harbaugh left for the 49ers and coached the team from 2011-2022.

Though Shaw finished his career with consecutive 3-9 seasons at Stanford, he was highly successful in his first eight seasons on the job, which led him to receive NFL interest.

Shaw went 96–54 in his Stanford career and either won or tied for the Pac-12 North title five times. He led his teams to three Rose Bowls and they were ranked in the top 12 five times in end-of-season polls.

Denver also has interest in Harbaugh for their head coach job.

Report: Broncos view Jim Harbaugh as backup option to 1 other coach

Jim Harbaugh wearing sunglasses

Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday interviewed with the Denver Broncos for their head coach position. It sounds like there is a legitimate chance he could get the job, but one other candidate may have to turn down the position first.

The Broncos view Sean Payton as their No. 1 choice in their head coach search, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. If Payton doesn’t want the job, Harbaugh reportedly would then become the top target.

Payton will have plenty of options, and Denver could be a tough sell for him. The Broncos gave up significant draft capital to acquire Russell Wilson in a blockbuster trade last offseason. They would likely have to give up a first-round pick and more if they hired Payton, who is under contract with the New Orleans Saints through 2024.

Unless Payton sees something in Wilson and Denver’s offense that he knows he can fix coming off a disastrous 2022 season, it is hard to view the Broncos as the best fit for him — especially with the draft pick situation.

Payton did confirm on Sunday that he has spoken with the Broncos, though he cannot formally interview with them until next week.

Recent reports have made Harbaugh sound desperate to get back into the NFL. The Michigan coach seemingly wanted the Minnesota Vikings job last year, but they decided to go in a different direction. Harbaugh admitted at the time that he would have taken it if the Vikings offered.

Payton is said to have his eye on two jobs. One of those positions is now officially open.

Broncos owners spent big to go all out for Week 18 game

Rob Walton smiling

Oct 30, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Denver Broncos owner Rob Walton reacts during an NFL International Series game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Jaguars 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos’ new owners are not messing around when it comes to showing how much they care about quality.

The Broncos’ new leadership group realized that the playing field at Empower Field in Denver had looked very beat up and below their standards. So the group, led by CEO and owner Greg Penner, spent nearly $400,000 to lay new sod on the playing field in time for the Week 18 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

According to Broncos reporter Mike Klis, the ownership group brought in some high-quality Bermuda grass to go on the playing field.

Keep in mind that the Broncos have long been out of the playoff picture, so the new sod was brought in for one game, plus offseason events at the stadium. The team will install new sod before the 2023 NFL season as well.

Here is how the new surface looked:

In addition to spending on the new sod, the Broncos are beginning a $100 million renovation project at the stadium when the season ends. The owners spent $4.65 billion to purchase the team in 2022. They have continued to spend big money since then.

Sean Payton confirms he has talked with 1 NFL team

Sean Payton looks ahead

Aug 9, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton is entertaining the possibility of returning to the NFL sideline in 2023, and the former New Orleans Saints coach said on Sunday that he has already spoken with one team.

Payton, who currently works as an analyst for FOX, opened up about his situation during Sunday’s edition of “FOX NFL Kickoff.” He confirmed that he still has two years remaining on his contract with the New Orleans Saints and that any team he signed with would have to compensate his former team. Payton also revealed that he has spoken with the Denver Broncos about their head coaching vacancy.

“Denver’s the first team. I was able to talk with their owner and that’s kind of the protocol,” Payton said. “The interview process can’t officially begin until (January 17), so that’s really where it’s at.”

Payton was then asked about Russell Wilson and how important it will be for his next team to have a proven starting quarterback in place. He indicated that his relationship with ownership and the front office will be the priority.

“I think that it’s really about the triangular relationship — ownership, front office and the coach,” Payton explained. “When we went to New Orleans, the quarterback was unsettled at that time. I think ownership and the functionality of the front office is most important.”

You can hear more of Payton’s comments below:

A report on Sunday claimed the Broncos and Saints are on the same page about potential compensation should Payton want the Denver job. The Broncos already fired Nathaniel Hackett, which is why there is no harm in Payton confirming that he has spoken with them.

By addressing his situation publicly, Payton essentially confirmed most of what has already been reported.

Saints have given 1 team permission to interview Sean Payton

Sean Payton on the sideline

Aug 23, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks on during the second half against Jacksonville Jaguars at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints would be entitled to compensation if Sean Payton takes a head coaching job elsewhere, and it sounds like at least one team has already shown a willingness to meet their asking price.

The Denver Broncos have received permission from the Saints to interview Payton, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Media. While it is unclear if Payton has legitimate interest in the job, the Broncos and Saints are reportedly on the same page about potential compensation.

New Orleans is expected to command at least one first-round pick for Payton. The Broncos parted with their 2023 first-round pick as part of their blockbuster trade for Russell Wilson. However, they acquired a first-round pick when they traded star linebacker Bradley Chubb earlier this season.

The Broncos have a new ownership group that is looking to make a big splash with its next head coaching higher. They seem prepared to make their coach the highest-paid in the NFL, so Payton will almost certainly listen to what they have to say.

Denver also has an interview lined up with one other top candidate.