The Denver Broncos will need to hire a new defensive coordinator this upcoming season after allowing Ejiro Evero out of his contract. How might the Broncos and Sean Payton approach this change and will it impact their defense?

Denver Broncos and Ejiro Evero going separate ways for 2023

With Sean Payton’s hire as the Denver Broncos next head coach finally becoming official, he’ll be tasked with finding a new defensive coordinator for this upcoming season. On Saturday, the Broncos allowed former defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero out of his contract to pursue other opportunities.

The news was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and confirmed to Mile High Sports. Payton had discussions this past week with Evero about keeping the rising coach as part of Denver’s new regime, but it’s apparent Evero wanted a fresh start elsewhere. Various NFL teams including the Minnesota Vikings have expressed strong interest in the former Broncos coordinator where he’s considered the favorite for the job, reuniting with head coach Kevin O’Connell, who he coached with as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.

Evero’s departure is unfortunate for the Broncos as the defense embarks on their third season with an entirely new defensive scheme and terminology. Players embraced Evero’s collaborative coaching style and bought into the culture he helped create inside the defensive room.

Once Evero lands on his feet, he could bring several assistant coaches with him including the highly talented up-and-coming assistant coach Christian Parker. There is hope that several assistant coaches from Evero’s staff remain in Denver, including Parker, but they will meet with the Broncos’ newly signed head coach in the coming days to weigh their options.

Payton began working on potential contingency plans in the event Evero departed the team for a head coaching job, or if he wanted out of his contract. On Friday, Denver submitted interview requests with the Pittsburgh Steelers for Brian Flores and the Seattle Seahawks for their defensive coordinator Sean Desai. Both teams will have the chance to either allow the prospective coaching candidates to interview with Denver, or they can block them from interviewing.

The Denver Broncos will officially introduce Sean Payton on Monday at 11:00 a.m. MT at the UCHealth Training Center. Payton’s staff could be largely in place by the time his first press conference occurs.