The Denver Broncos have made the decision to move on from head coach Nathaniel Hackett with two weeks remaining in the 2022 regular season. Hackett is already the third head coach in the post-Gary Kubiak era for the Broncos and soon there will be a fourth non-interim head coach in place. But who?
What’s going to be fascinating about this next head coach hire for the Denver Broncos is the fact that the search will be led by Broncos CEO Greg Penner, one member of the Walton-Penner ownership group but the one really in charge of the day-to-day with the team. Penner, along with the rest of ownership and George Paton, will compile a list of and interview candidates in the near future, but who’s going to be on top of the list?
The early betting favorites are out, and the name on top of one particular list is fascinating if not shocking…
Betting favorite for next Denver Broncos head coach is a shocker…
Well, how about that? Sean Payton is at the top of the Bet Online list of Broncos future head coaching candidates. It seems very unlikely, however, even though so many fans in Broncos Country are going to want to see it happen.
Payton retired from his position with the New Orleans Saints last year so he’s still under contract with that organization. It would require not only a new contract for Payton but it would also likely require some trade compensation going back to the Saints. The ownership group, via Penner’s statement, did commit that:
"Moving forward, we will carefully evaluate every aspect of our football operations and make whatever changes are necessary to restore this franchise’s winning tradition.Broncos CEO Greg Penner, via Broncos PR"
The emphasis there should be on “whatever changes are necessary” when you look at the potential of adding a coach like Sean Payton to the mix. I certainly don’t see this as a likely option for the Broncos, perhaps more like the betting sites looking for some easy money.
With that being said, it’s interesting that he’s not just another name on the list. The name right behind him is Dan Quinn, whose inclusion should come as absolutely no surprise at all. Quinn and those he would presumably bring on his staff with him have worked with Russell Wilson in the past, he was a finalist for last year’s job, and he shares an agent with George Paton.
But should Quinn be the odds-on favorite if Sean Payton is more of a pipe dream? I’m not so sure. The coaching search is sure to be exhaustive this time around after the Broncos failed last cycle to interview some of the best possible candidates including Mike McDaniel who ended up with the Miami Dolphins and Doug Pederson, who ended up with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Both of those teams could be in the playoffs this season thanks large in part to the impact of those coaches.
Sean Payton has a long pedigree in the NFL and will certainly be a coveted coach in this cycle, likely with his choice of jobs. If he were to become the next head coach of the Denver Broncos, you can bet that it wouldn’t be simply because they were the only option on the table. It would be because he wants that job more than any other.
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has to take a decent amount of the responsibility for the historic firing of head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
And that’s why you probably shouldn’t be putting all your money on him at this point in time.