The Denver Broncos have found their new head coach in Sean Payton, sending a first-round pick and 2024 second-round pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for Payton's rights and a 2024 third-rounder. Now, Payton will set his sights on establishing his new coaching staff, and he is reportedly eyeing a couple of experienced defensive minds to potentially serve as his defensive coordinator.
According to NFL Media, the Broncos will let their former defensive coordinator under Nathaniel Hackett, Ejiro Evero, out of his contract so he can pursue other opportunities. He has interviewed for multiple head-coaching jobs already and will reportedly interview for the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator jobs. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones indicated that Carolina's interest in Evero is "very strong," while Denver-based reporters linked him to Minnesota.
In the meantime, per NFL Media, the Broncos requested permission to speak with Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach and former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores for their defensive coordinator position, as well as Seattle Seahawks defensive assistant Sean Desai.
Flores established himself as a top defensive assistant after 11 years with the New England Patriots from 2008-18. He has also interviewed for the Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator position this offseason, as well as the head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals. The 41-year-old served as the linebackers coach for the Steelers in 2022 after being fired by the Dolphins following a 24-25 tenure. Interestingly enough, Flores actually sued the Broncos along with the NFL and New York Giants 12 months ago, alleging racial discrimination. He claimed in a class action suit that he took part in a "sham interview" with former Broncos general manager John Elway during Denver's 2019 coaching search.
Desai on the other hand just wrapped up his first season with the Seahawks, serving as an associate head coach and defensive assistant under Pete Carroll. Previously, he served nine years as a defensive assistant for the Chicago Bears, including one year as defensive coordinator in 2021. Like Flores, Desai was in consideration for the Vikings defensive coordinator job, but 9News reports he has since withdrawn his candidacy for the position.