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Broncos coaching shakeups continue: Evero released as defensive coordinator

Broncos hoped to retain Evero, who had impressive first year until late season swoon. But Evero wanted out and appears headed to Vikings.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Ejiro Evero got his way.

The Denver defensive coordinator wanted a fresh start and new head coach Sean Payton gave it to him by releasing Evero from the final two years on his contract, a source confirmed to 9NEWS Saturday.

Evero's defense was impressive early as the Broncos ranked No. 2 in scoring (17.0 points allowed) through 12 games, but it slumped badly in the final five games and wound up tied for 14th in scoring defense (21.1 points per game).

Yes, there were injuries down the stretch, particularly to standout defensive lineman Dre'Mont Jones. Still, the Denver D was humiliated in a 51-14 Christmas Day blowout loss at Los Angeles and the schedule also brought two games against the high-scoring Kansas City Chiefs and one against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Evero is expected to be headed to Minnesota, where he has a close professional relationship with Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell. Evero and O'Connell were on the Rams' Super Bowl winning coaching staff in 2021.

The Broncos can now interview Brian Flores and Sean Desai for their vacant defensive coordinator position. Desai received a strong recommendation from former Broncos' head coach Vic Fangio, who is close with Payton.

Flores and Desai were also candidates for the Minnesota defensive coordinator spot but Desai withdrew from consideration there to focus his efforts on the Broncos' job.

Kris Richard, who recently parted ways as New Orleans' co-defensive coordinator, may also be a candidate for the Broncos' top defensive job.

Evero is a close friend of Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired Dec. 26 as the Broncos' head coach before he got a chance to finish his first season.

Evero turned down the Broncos' offer to finish the season as interim head coach.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero takes part in drills during the NFL football team's training camp Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, at the Broncos' headquarters in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)



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