Broncos hire Packers OC Hackett as head coach – 95.5 WSB

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — (AP) — A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press Thursday morning that the Denver Broncos are finalizing an agreement to hire Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity as the deal was still ongoing and the team did not make an announcement.

Hiring Hackett will bring immediate speculation the Broncos are trying to lure star quarterback Aaron Rodgers to Denver, possibly with star receiver Davante Adams, who is expected to enter free agency in March.

Rodgers, who turned 38 last month amid what is expected to be his fourth MVP season, is considering his future, including retirement, following the Packers’ early exit from the playoffs last weekend when the top seed was upset at home 13-10 by the San Francisco 49ers.

Hackett, 42, became the favorite on his own merits, however, which includes his stellar work with Blake Bortles as Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator from 2016-18 before heading to Green Bay and helping Matt LaFleur win a record 39 games in his first three seasons as head coach.

Hackett, who is the son of former college and NFL coach Paul Hackett, inherits a young and talented team in Denver, where he flew in for a second interview on Monday. He was the only finalist to get a second in-person interview in Denver.

General manager George Paton interviewed 10 candidates to replace Vic Fangio, whom he fired after a disappointing 7-10 season, Denver’s sixth straight without a playoff spot.

After traveling the country with a team of evaluators, Paton narrowed down that list to three finalists: Hackett, Cowboys defensive coordinator and former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.

Hackett would be the first Broncos head coach with offensive roots since Gary Kubiak, who resigned after the 2016 season, a year after leading the Broncos to their third Super Bowl title. Vance Joseph went 11-21 in two seasons and Fangio was 19-30 in three years.

Despite finishing last in the AFC West competition, the Broncos are considered a rising team with the right head coach and quarterback who can capitalize on a talented young offense that includes receivers Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler. , tight ends Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam and bulldozing running back Javonte Williams.

Some of those point guards would no doubt be wrapped up in any deal for a veteran quarterback if the Broncos decided not to grab a quarterback in the draft, where the picks aren’t as attractive as habit.

Fangio’s mundane tenure was littered with poor quarterback play, uncreative offenses that struggled to score 20 points per game under Pat Shurmur, and sloppy special teams under Tom McMahon, all of which nullified a solid defense that was Fangio’s calling card.

The Broncos have had 10 starting quarterbacks and no playoff appearances since Peyton Manning’s retirement six years ago, and they’re in the market for an upgrade to often-injured QB Teddy Bridgewater (7-7). who is set to become a free agent in March, and Drew Lock (0-3) this offseason.

They are also looking for a new owner. Joe Ellis, the team’s outgoing president and CEO, said once a new head coach is in place he will release details on the future of the franchise in what is expected to be the sale. most expensive team club in American sports history.

The Broncos are valued at nearly $4 billion and if sold that much would surpass the record $3.35 billion that Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai paid for the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center in 2019.

John Elway, who is in his final months as the team’s president of football operations, and Manning, who has lived in Denver since retiring, are expected to get involved in the bidding as minority partners of billionaires competing for NFL approval to acquire the iconic franchise.

The Broncos won two Super Bowl titles in the late 1990s with Elway under center and again in 2016 with Elway at front office and Manning at quarterback in the final game of his Hall of Fame career.

The only remnant of their last championship parade is kicker Brandon McManus. Paton traded Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller to the Rams for a pair of Day 2 draft picks last fall and Miller shone in his playoff return. The Rams host the 49ers on Sunday in the NFC Championship.

The second- and third-round draft picks the Broncos received in exchange for Miller give Paton 11 draft picks in April, including five of the top 100, which he could either use to bolster his roster or acquire a quarterback. -back like Rodgers. or Russell Wilson of the Seahawks.

Offensive coordinators Kellen Moore of the Cowboys, Brian Callahan of the Bengals and Eric Bieniemy of the Chiefs and defensive coordinators Aaron Glenn of the Lions and Jonathan Gannon of the Eagles, as well as linebackers coach Jerod of the Patriots were also interviewed for the job. Broncos head coach. Mayo and Packers QB coach Luke Getsy.

Getsy could pique Hackett’s interest as an offensive coordinator in Denver.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Comments are closed.