BRONCOS

Rapoport: Both Sean Payton and Jim Harbaugh still “options” for Broncos

Jan 31, 2023, 11:07 AM

Maybe Jim Harbaugh is still alive to be the next head coach of the Denver Broncos?

One day after ESPN’s Adam Schefter told “The Drive” on 104.3 The Fan that Harbaugh is no longer a candidate, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport sung a different tune on the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday morning.

Speaking with McAfee about Harbaugh and Sean Payton, Rapoport said he’s not ready to rule out either guy, at least until they firmly re-commit to their current gigs.

“When Harbaugh officially signs his deal I will eliminate him, but I don’t think that’s been eliminated 1,000 percent. And Sean Payton has not been eliminated. So, until Sean says ‘I’m definitely going back to TV’ or until Harbaugh says ‘we’re good and I’m definitely going back to Michigan,’ those are still options,” Rapoport said.

As far as where things stand on the coaching search overall, Rapoport offered two different theories.

“There are two things that could be happening right now, and they are opposite. One, Denver is collecting itself and getting ready to put in new slips to restart their search. Or, they are going to someone who has not yet been eliminated. Many of the candidates have been eliminated,” Rapoport said.

Candidates that have reportedly been eliminated include the likes of Raheem Morris, David Shaw, Jim Caldwell and Ejiro Evero. Payton and Harbaugh reportedly remain alive, with DeMeco Ryans almost assuredly headed to Houston. Jerry Robsurg could be lurking, but that feels likes a long-shot.

As far as a potential “mystery candidate” goes, Rapoport doesn’t sound like he buys it.

“I was told very strongly it’s not someone we don’t know,” Rapoport said.

What does that mean? Well, apparently the next coach of the Broncos will be one of the names listed above, with Harbaugh and Payton still in the mix.

***

Broncos

Bo Nix Broncos mock draft...

Cecil Lammey

Cecil Lammey’s one-and-only first-round mock of the 2024 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft begins tonight in Detroit, providing the perfect moment to predict who will go when and where in the first round

5 hours ago

Broncos Pat Surtain II...

Will Petersen

Report: Broncos may use Pat Surtain II for “big swing” in draft trade

Denver picked up the fifth-year option for Pat Surtain II, meaning any club that trades for him would have him under contract for two years

9 hours ago

Bo Nix at the Senior Bowl...

Andrew Mason

The Broncos appear to have plenty of interest in Bo Nix … but will he be their guy?

Per a report, the Broncos met with Bo Nix via Zoom and in person -- with Sean Payton there -- in March. But does that mean they want him?

21 hours ago

Peyton Manning Zach Wilson...

Andrew Mason

Peyton Manning connects with Zach Wilson, believes Denver can be ‘a great chapter two’ for him

Peyton Manning is optimistic that Zach Wilson can reverse his fortunes after being traded to the Broncos this week.

1 day ago

Pat Surtain II...

Jake Shapiro

Broncos pick up pricey option on Pat Surtain II, still no extension

The Denver Broncos keep saying Pat Surtain II isn't going anywhere anytime soon and on Tuesday they put some ink to paper on the matter

1 day ago

Peyton Manning...

Jake Shapiro

Peyton Manning says J.J. McCarthy didn’t respond to his text

Michigan prospect J.J. McCarthy got a text from NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and it really was the former star of the Denver Broncos

1 day ago

Rapoport: Both Sean Payton and Jim Harbaugh still “options” for Broncos