Broncos HC Rumors: Cowboys' Dan Quinn, 49ers' DeMeco Ryans, Rams' Raheem Morris Eyed

Adam WellsJanuary 9, 2023

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during warm-ups against the Chicago Bears at AT&T Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

With Sean Payton and Jim Harbaugh already set to interview with the Denver Broncos, they are also hoping to meet with Dan Quinn for their vacant head coaching position.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Broncos have requested permission from the Dallas Cowboys to speak with the 52-year-old defensive coordinator.

Rapoport noted Quinn was a top candidate for the Denver job last year and will be again this year.

Mike Klis of 9News reported the Broncos have also requested permission to interview defensive coordinators DeMeco Ryans and Raheem Morris.

Mike Klis @mikeklis

Per source, Broncos have formally requested permission to interview San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and Rams DC Rahim Morris.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9sports?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9sports</a>

Rapoport and Pelissero reported on Sunday that Harbaugh will meet with Broncos management this week, but they noted he could be using the NFL to secure a big-money extension from the University of Michigan.

Harbaugh signed a five-year extension with Michigan in January 2021, but the deal came with a significantly reduced guaranteed salary compared to what he had been making.

In a statement released through the school last week, Harbaugh said "no one knows what the future holds," but he expects to be with the Wolverines next season.

Payton, who is working as an NFL analyst for Fox, said during Sunday's pregame show he has already had an informal conversation with Broncos ownership and will have a formal interview when teams are allowed to speak with candidates starting Jan. 17.


Yesterday, the Broncos reached out to the Saints to inquire about their former HC Sean Payton.<a href="https://twitter.com/SeanPayton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SeanPayton</a> discusses the situation and his possible return to the NFL ⬇️ <a href="https://t.co/XDr7HADIUT">pic.twitter.com/XDr7HADIUT</a>

The New Orleans Saints still hold Payton's contractual rights, so any team that wants to hire him would have to work out a deal with the Saints.

Rapoport reported the Broncos "appear to be willing" to meet New Orleans' asking price of "a first-round draft pick and more" if they decide Payton is who they want as their next head coach.

Ryans figures to be one of the most sought-after coaching candidates this offseason. He was in the running for the Minnesota Vikings job last offseason before declining a second interview to remain with the San Francisco 49ers.

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

My understanding is 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans withdrawing from Vikings job came down to the coach not being in a rush to leave a good situation in San Francisco. He wants to be a HC one day and appreciated chance to talk w/ MIN. Should be one of hottest names in next year's cycle.

San Francisco's defense under Ryans has been one of the best units in the NFL over the past two seasons. The group led the league in points allowed, yards allowed and ranked second in rushing yards allowed this season.

Despite this being a rough season for the Los Angeles Rams due to injuries, Morris' body of work should also make him an attractive coaching candidate. He's spent the past two seasons as Rams defensive coordinator.

Prior to joining the Rams staff, Morris was an assistant on Quinn's staff with the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-20. The 46-year-old had a variety of jobs during that time, including assistant head coach, pass game coordinator, wide receivers coach and defensive coordinator.

Quinn was one of several candidates Denver interviewed last year. The Broncos ultimately decided to hire Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

After a 4-11 start this season, Hackett was fired by the Broncos on Dec. 26. Jerry Rosburg, a senior assistant on Hackett's staff, was named interim head coach for the final two games.

Quinn is in his second season as Cowboys defensive coordinator. They have finished in the top seven in points allowed in each of his two years with the team. He spent five seasons as head coach of the Falcons from 2015-20.

The Falcons went 43-42 under Quinn's watch with two playoff appearances, including a trip to Super Bowl 51 after the 2016 season.