The first domino in this offseason hiring cycle is about to fall.
And with it, many will follow:
Contract talks heated up Wednesday night. The #Jaguars planned to interview Hackett again today. Instead, Denver lands its top choice.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 27, 2022
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports the Denver Broncos are closing in on a deal to make Green Bay Packers Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett their next head coach. Hackett was a Bears coaching candidate who didn’t get a second interview. Hopefully, the Bears were able to extract any worthwhile knowledge about how the Packers operate during their conversation. If they weren’t, or if Hackett wasn’t willing to divulge, he could make it up to everyone in Chicago by taking Packers quarterback and perennial malcontent Aaron Rodgers with him.
Hackett leaving to Denver is good news in my book. Firstly, it gets the ball rolling on the hiring cycle. Ideally, teams (lookin’ at you, Bears) will follow suit and make their own hires. If you’ll recall, Denver was seen as a landing spot for one of the Bears leading head coaching candidates, Dan Quinn. Secondly, if Hackett was truly an important cog in an offense that put up top-10 scoring seasons the last two years, then Green Bay losing him will sting (even if it is just a small prick). And if that’s the case, then maybe Rodgers might want to follow Hackett to the Broncos.
Should that be how the cookie crumbles, that’s a potential double-whammy to lose your offensive coordinator and quarterback to the same team in the same offseason. Wouldn’t that be swell?
Of course, this isn’t to say Hackett to Denver means Rodgers will follow. But there’s been ample smoke around that situation going on a year now. The Broncos were immediately connected as a possible trade partner when news came through that Rodgers was unhappy and didn’t want to return to Green Bay (although, now we know he was fronting).
There’s also this:
Aaron Rodgers on Nathaniel Hackett last season, with a smirk:
“I hope he doesn’t go anywhere. Unless I do.”
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 27, 2022
Denver has some trade worthy assets, beginning with the No. 9 pick in this upcoming draft, which could be enticing for a Packers team short on cap space and that will be wanting to re-load their roster. On the other end, the fit is obvious. I mean … have you seen Denver’s quarterbacks? If the answer is no, then consider yourself lucky.
The Hackett hire putting Rodgers’ departure to Denver in play is a heckuva way to get this offseason going. Then again, it would be a kick in the pants if things went sideways. Imagine the Broncos to going all in on trying to lure Rodgers, only to see him sent elsewhere. I’d get a good laugh out of it. Especially if Rodgers goes somewhere I don’t have to see him play twice a year.