Broncos may not be a certainty to land DeMeco Ryans for this one reason

The Denver Broncos reportedly have DeMeco Ryans as their top head coaching candidate, but there’s one reason why they may not be able to hire him.

The Denver Broncos had buyer’s remorse with Nathaniel Hackett, as they fired him just 15 games into his tenure after the team, which was supposed to contend for the playoffs, had a 4-11 record. Denver has new ownership, and they want to hire their head coaching candidate that they feel can lead the team to contention. One of the top candidates available this coaching carousel is San Francisco 49ers defensive end DeMeco Ryans. In fact, a report from 9News’ Mike Klis on Jan. 26 indicated that Ryans was Denver’s top candidate for their head coaching vacancy.

While that sounds like good news for the Broncos, there is one reason why they may not land him — another team views him very highly as well.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, Ryans has emerged as the top candidate for the Houston Texans’ head coaching vacancy. Additionally, Rapoport said during an appearance on NFL Network that Ryans wants to meet with the Texans after the NFC Championship Game, and that timeline doesn’t work out for the Broncos. So, Denver is focusing on other candidates.

Texans, along with Broncos, have DeMeco Ryans as their top head coaching candidate

“The other part of the situation is the Denver Broncos, who also viewed DeMeco Ryans as a top candidate, have kind of moved their attention elsewhere,” said Rapoport. “Ryans wants to meet with the Texans after his game is over sometime next week. That timeline doesn’t work for the Denver Broncos. They’d like to move maybe a little bit quicker, so they are looking elsewhere, which does seem to free Ryans up to continue to have conversations with the Texans when the playing is done this weekend. If all goes well, do not be surprised if he ends up as the head coach of the Houston Texans, the same organization where he starred as a linebacker, the same organization where they called him “cap” as a rookie, because that was the leadership role he took very quickly.”

The Broncos have interviewed multiple candidates this offseason, and some of them have decided to go another direction.

One of the big names that Denver’s brass has interviewed was Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was reportedly ready to make the jump back to the NFL. However, Michigan University president Santa Ono announced that Harbaugh would be returning to run the Wolverines football program.

Another name that interviewed with the Broncos was Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Last year, he was a candidate for their head coaching gig before they chose to hire Hackett. On Thursday, Quinn let all interested teams know that he would not be pursuing a head coaching gig, instead opting to remain in Dallas.

While the team did meet with New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, it’s unknown if there was any progress made in discussions, as there’s a possibility that he returns to Fox Sports for next season.

It certainly won’t be a good look if the Broncos lose out on yet another top candidate. Ryans set himself apart as one of the top candidates this cycle. After all, he did lead the top defense in all of football with the 49ers, who averaged just 300.6 yards of total offense and 16.3 points per game, both of which were the best averages in the entire NFL.

If Ryans indeed agrees to become the head coach of the Texans, where will the Broncos pivot to next? That is a question that Broncos fans will be asking a lot if this possibility becomes a reality.

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