According to NFL Network’s insider Ian Rapoport, the Denver Broncos are allowing defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero out of his contract with the team. He is considered a strong candidate to reunite with Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota and serve as the Vikings defensive coordinator.
Sources: The #Broncos are allowing defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero out of his contract and he’s expected to interview with the #Vikings. He’s considered a strong candidate in Minnesota, along with Brian Flores.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 4, 2023
The writing has been on the wall here for this to happen for a bit now. There were rumblings about philosophical differences between Evero and the Broncos and the fact they fired his best friend after 15 games did not sit well with him. He also turned down the Broncos interim head coaching job because of his relationship with Hackett, so that was the first sign that something was up.
The Atlanta Falcons initially requested to interview Evero a few weeks back, but the Broncos quickly denied that request. However, after the Broncos hired head coach Sean Payton, things changed between the two sides. It came out that Payton and Evero would talk about his role with the team moving forward and then go from there. A few days after that report surfaced, we received word that the Broncos requested to interview Steelers linebackers coach Brian Flores and Seahawks assistant head coach/defensive assistant Sean Desai. So, that was a clear sign that the two sides have decided to part ways. Reports quickly surfaced of the Vikings' interest and earlier today we learned that the Panthers would also like to interview Evero as well.
At the end of the day, all we know right now is that Evero will not be the Broncos' defensive coordinator next season. It sounds like he will be the Vikings' defensive coordinator next season and hoping to improve his head coaching resume. Evero interviewed for all five head coaching jobs but did not end up as a finalist for any of the five jobs.
Meanwhile, the Broncos appear to be down to former Miami Dolphins head coach/Steelers linebackers coach Brian Flores and former Saints assistant head coach/defensive assistant Sean Desai. Flores would be a strong candidate for the job and would bring a blitz-heavy scheme that made the Dolphins' defense one of the better units in the league in 2021. As for Desai, he comes with a strong recommendation from Vic Fangio and that could carry some weight with Payton. Adding Desai would not require a big scheme change and would give the Broncos another young and up-and-coming defensive coordinator to lead their defense. He previously was the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator for a year and did well all things considered with a unit that lacked talent and struggled with injuries.
Personally, I would prefer Flores, but it appears some steam has picked up for Desai. Either way, the Broncos are getting a strong defensive coordinator candidate and hopefully one that will keep that unit solid next season.