Sean Payton off to a bad start in Denver thanks to Dolphins latest hire

The Denver Broncos got their man in newly minted head coach Sean Payton, but it looks like Payton won’t be getting his top choice of defensive coordinator in 2023.

This week, the Denver Broncos traded for former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton to begin a new era for the franchise. Some believe the Saints to be the outright winners of that trade, yet Denver still got a bargain for Payton and should benefit from cleaning house.

With Nathaniel Hackett enjoying greener pastures in New York this season, Payton holds significant influence in handpicking his future Broncos coaching staff. Both Justin Outten’s and Ejiro Evero’s jobs could be in jeopardy as neither coordinator has a permanent outlook in Denver at the moment.

On Friday, it was announced that Payton’s top rumored DC option, Vic Fangio, agreed to a three-year deal with the Miami Dolphins. Fangio was last fired as the Broncos head coach in 2021 after going 19-30 in three seasons, but there was plenty of speculation that Payton could lure Fangio back in 2023.

Denver Broncos’ Sean Payton loses out on potential DC  candidate Vic Fangio

Per an ESPN inside scoop last December, Payton was apparently trying to build an all-star staff that included Fangio as his defensive coordinator. He obviously hadn’t been traded to Denver at that point, yet the long-time Saints coach had likely admired Fangio’s accolades from afar.

Fangio served as a defensive coordinator for 19 seasons in the league, working with a variety of teams including the Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, and Chicago Bears. He led a top-10 scoring defense in six of his last eight seasons as a coordinator, and given his familiarity with the Broncos, would have fit in seamlessly in Denver as Sean Payton’s right hand man.

From Fangio’s perspective, it’s not hard to see why he would want to start anew. His controversial sacking from the Broncos franchise could still feel like a relatively fresh wound, and he gets an exciting opportunity to work with Mike McDaniel in Miami.

Now that Fangio’s taken, Payton will have to look elsewhere. News travels fast, and former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has recently emerged an intriguing defensive coordinator candidate for the Broncos

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