Report: Broncos’ pursuit of new coach will be ‘ultra aggressive’

Jan 1, 2023, 7:58 AM | Updated: 8:01 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Broncos’ search for their next head coach will apparently not be a timid one.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter, citing sources, reported Sunday morning that Broncos ownership will be “ultra aggressive” in its search for a replacement for Nathaniel Hackett.

Writes Schefter:

While there is a salary cap on players, there is no salary cap on what owners can spend on a head coach, their staff and the rest of the organization — and the Walton-Penner group that purchased the Broncos last summer is not expected to spare any expense or cut any corners in its effort to upgrade the franchise.

And that is the key thing: that coaching is one area in which the largesse of the NFL’s wealthiest ownership group makes an impact.

The Walton-Penner group cannot do what, for example, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen did in baseball. There, Cohen spared no expense in recent free-agency cycles. His outlay gave the Mets a payroll so far about the luxury-tax threshold that Cohen will pay a reported $111 million in luxury-tax fees.

But in coaching, in facilities, in staff — the Walton-Penner group has no limits.

Schefter specifically mentions a potential pursuit of ex-Saints coach Sean Payton. Landing Payton would require some form of compensation to the New Orleans Saints, as they own his rights, and a trade would be necessary.

It would not be unprecedented; in 2002, the Buccaneers acquired the rights to Jon Gruden for a haul that included two first-round picks and two second-rounders. Two years earlier, the Patriots nabbed Bill Belichick for a deal that included a first-round choice. Of course, the Broncos’ draft stock is depleted because of the Russell Wilson trade. However, they replenished part of it with the trade-deadline swap of Bradley Chubb to Miami.

The Broncos dismissed Hackett last Monday, ending his tenure after just 15 games.

That decision was in and of itself aggressive, as it was the second-quickest coach firing since 1978. Only Urban Meyer’s departure from Jacksonville was faster in that span.

But now, it looks like Greg Penner, Carrie Walton Penner and Rob Walton are taking it up a notch.



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