The Denver Broncos' ride on the wild coaching carousel has reached its end. According to multiple reports, the team is hiring Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to be its next head coach. Once made official, the 42-year-old will become the organization's fourth head coach since 2016.
Denver's decision to hire Hackett also brings new energy to rumors involving Packers veteran Aaron Rodgers. The quarterback-coordinator duo completed their third season together last week, and in two campaigns, their unit ranked top-10 in average points and yards. Rodgers is also the league's reigning MVP. So, are the Broncos attempting to lure Rodgers, whose future is uncertain?
"I think it's all about Aaron Rodgers. I think that it probably tilted the Broncos toward Nathaniel Hackett. I'm not trying to take anything away from him. Use your connections," Maggie Gray said during the Maggie and Perloff show on Thursday. "You were just with Rodgers during a pretty successful run here for the Packers. Of course, no Super Bowls. And the postseason, we can poke holes in. But in terms of winning games, he's been right there.
"Rodgers has talked openly about how much he likes him. He's talked about what a great head coach Hackett is going to be. So, I can't imagine how that wouldn't play in... This is all about a Rodgers recruitment and all about a pitch to him. Because the Broncos have been wandering in the quarterback desert, looking for some kind of Manna from heaven... Maybe there's something about Hackett that keeps Rodgers loose, and maybe that's appealing."
The Broncos clearly aren't turned off by how Hackett's offense performed in the NFC divisional round last Saturday. Snow flurries and harsh temperatures at Lambeau Field only served as a hindrance for Green Bay, as they scored a measly 10 points in a stunning upset loss to the San Francisco 49ers. In what might've been Rodgers' final game wearing green and gold, he threw for just 225 yards, and failed to record a single touchdown pass.
Despite the ugly loss, Rodgers produced yet another MVP-caliber campaign. In 16 games, the 38-year-old threw for 4,115 yards with 37 scores and just four picks, and didn't commit a single turnover from Week 10 on. Rodgers had also stepped up while battling a broken left pinky toe, suffered in mid-November. While speaking to reporters on Saturday, he said he'll take some time to mull his future, and announce his plans well before free agency begins in March.
Maggie and Perloff's complete thoughts on the Broncos' hiring of Hackett can be accessed in the audio player above.