Insider: Broncos GM George Paton is safe regardless of next HC
Denver Broncos general manager George Paton. Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Insider: Broncos GM George Paton is safe regardless of next HC

George Paton's job appears to be safe in 2023, a significant development in Denver's HC search. 

"Although George Paton's seat has warmed following the Broncos' 5-12 season he is expected to return as general manager, regardless of who Greg Penner (Broncos Owner) ultimately decides to hire as head coach," wrote longtime Broncos reporter Mike Klis. 

Paton's apparent job security is surprising since Penner took his power away.

"The new coach will report to me," he said after firing Nathaniel Hackett in December.

Additionally, former Saints HC Sean Payton, one of Denver's top candidates, reportedly wanted a former colleague as GM, specifically Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland or former Saints front-office executive Ryan Pace. 

"If owners need to bring in a certain GM to attract a coach (e.g. Jeff Ireland or Ryan Pace to land Payton), that's where things could get a little sketchy for Paton," wrote Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer. 

Perhaps Paton remaining signals Denver's interest in Payton cooled. 

Hiring Payton will be costly. According to NFL Insider Jordan Schultz, Payton's desired contract is a multi-year deal worth at least $20 million per season. Also, he's under contract with the Saints through 2024, so New Orleans expects multiple first-round draft picks as compensation, via Saints insider Jeff Duncan. 

Or, perhaps Payton has indicated he is on board with Denver's front office. 

"Payton was particularly impressed by the Broncos group, who he met with for several hours (Tuesday in Los Angeles)," wrote Duncan. 

Denver might hire Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn instead. Per Oddschecker, Quinn is the Broncos' top choice, and "Quinn has a strong relationship with Paton," wrote NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport. 

Regardless, Paton and the next HC need to get on the same page. Each will have a prominent role in reversing Denver's losing direction.          

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter


Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.