According to NFL Network’s insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, the Denver Broncos Head Coaching search is expected to be centered around retired New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn.
ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter also notes that the Denver Broncos will be “ultra-aggressive” in their search for a new Head Coach. He notes that the Broncos' wealthy owners “is not expected to spare any expense to upgrade the franchise”.
Big swing from Broncos? Sean Payton, Jim Harbaugh, Dan Quinn expected to be top targets in Denver's coaching search, per @RapSheet + @TomPelisserohttps://t.co/y4kMmjVuFY pic.twitter.com/s7kuw1GSSR— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) January 1, 2023
This news is something we have all expected, but it at least gives us some clarification on what the Broncos may decide to do in their Head Coaching search. Sean Payton is the big name, but he will need to be traded for and it is unclear if he even wants the Broncos job. Jim Harbaugh makes a lot of sense but the Broncos need to convince him to leave the college ranks and return to the NFL so he can continue his chase for a Lombardi. Now, Dan Quinn is a much lower profile coach compared to the other two, but is expected to be the top experienced coordinator available and is someone the Broncos had some interest in last year.
As for Payton, things get complicated if they want him. They will need to trade for him and reports are coming out that the asking price will be AT LEAST a first-round pick in return. This is tough for the Broncos who are low on draft picks after trading away many of them for quarterback Russell Wilson. They did acquire a first-round pick in return for edge rusher Bradley Chubb but after that, they do not have a pick until the third round. So trading away more assets doesn’t make much sense and in return, makes the Broncos even less desirable for a coach like Payton. Now, money talks, but the Broncos seem unlikely to give up the draft pick compensation needed to acquire Payton.
This makes me believe Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is the most likely choice between him and Payton. He checks all the boxes, has the experience needed, will build a culture, and control all aspects of the team. Plus, I would imagine the Broncos would feel comfortable giving him power equal to or potentially more than Paton. With the Broncos expected to be “ultra-aggressive”, I could see them offering a big check for Harbaugh and basically buying him to be their next Head Coach. I think this is their most realistic “big swing” but still a risky one for them.
As for Quinn, I have mixed feelings about him. He does have a Super Bowl appearance in his back pocket but doesn’t seem like the coach the Broncos really want. He’s not a high-profile coach and could potentially make for an awkward situation between him and GM George Paton. We shall see how strongly they consider him, but if they enter this search expected to “swing big” and come away with Dan Quinn, that would be disappointing.
I think we will begin hearing more and more news about potential candidates and Habraugh’s potential interest. He can interview with the Broncos anytime now since Michigan has been eliminated so we could get some news there fairly soon.
If given a choice of these three who would you pick?
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