Hold on. Everybody let John Elway sleep on it before handing Vance Joseph his pink slip.
And there may not be a change in the Denver Broncos' head coaching position.
An ESPN report Sunday morning got Broncoland buzzing before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The report said Joseph “faces increasingly long odds at being retained and returning for his second season in Denver.''
However, a source close to Elway told 9NEWS that the Denver Broncos' general manager wants to sleep on his decision before meeting with Joseph on Monday morning. Elway had not made his decision as of Sunday night, the source said. He will not attend the Rose Bowl on Monday to personally watch Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
One more thing: Don't be surprised if Joseph returns for his second season.
“We'll see but I want to be here,'' Joseph said during his press conference following the Broncos' 27-24 loss to the Chiefs on a 17-degree Sunday afternoon at eventually-to-be-renamed Sports Authority Field at Mile High. “It's a football team that's close. We have to make some adjustments in some places, but our football team all year has not stopped working. That was fun to see, even tonight. It's been a hard year, but everyone kept fighting. I want to be here to fix it.''
He may get his wish, although clearly Elway has agonized on this decision. What has been most disturbing about the Broncos' season is -- well, let's not overlook the obvious. It's the 5-11 record.
This was the Broncos' first losing team since Elway took charge of the team's football operations in 2011.
In his first five years, Elway's Broncos won five AFC West titles, two AFC Conference championships, and a Super Bowl title. A 5-11 record doesn't fly with Elway.
Also bothersome was the manner of so many losses. The Broncos suffered four defeats by at least 21 points, and eight by at least 10 points.
The reasons for keeping Joseph, though, are several. First, the Broncos at some point have to think about head coach continuity. The Pittsburgh Steelers have had three head coaches in 49 years.
The Broncos have had three head coaches in four years. Firing Joseph would mean four head coaches in five years.
“That's crazy,'' said linebacker Brandon Marshall. “We just haven't had consistent coaching, as head coaching stability. … it's tough to get a chemistry. It's tough for the offense. The offense, they have new offensive coordinators every year.''
And that's a point for retaining Joseph. The Broncos are happy with the job Bill Musgrave has done since replacing Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator.
The Broncos are expected to remove the 'interim” label and make Musgrave their full-time offensive coordinator in 2018.
And then the plan is to get a new quarterback. Kirk Cousins could be a target in free agency. Or the Broncos could use their No. 5 overall draft pick and take Josh Rosen, Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield.
Give Joseph better quarterback play and see what he can do.
If not, the Broncos can try to find another head coach from a candidates list that for now is considered so weak, it's headed by Josh McDaniels.
Many Broncos players are just tired of hearing how their head coach is on the outs in the hours before playing their final game.
“I think it's garbage,'' said Broncos' defensive end Shelby Harris, who has been one of Joseph's staunchest supporters this year. “It's on us, as players. Vance should be here. The failures of this season are specifically on us as players. Everything was cool till the bye week.''
Problem was, the bye week was after game 4 in a 16-game season. The Broncos were 3-1 entering the bye, 2-10 coming out with an eight-game losing streak that was the longest in 50 years.
“People got complacent, people got happy, people thought we were going to roll, bulldoze everyone,'' Harris said. “I feel like everyone let off the gas a little bit.
“But, Vance should be here. I stay with Vance. He's a great coach, great guy, great character guy. A guy you want leading your team.''
Ok, no more. Let's sleep on it.