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Broncos regard report of eleventh-hour effort to hire DeMeco Ryans as “complete fabrication”

With DeMeco Ryans reportedly telling the Broncos he’s not interested in their head coaching job, Mike Florio and Myles Simmons unpack why the Texans make so much sense.

It’s time to start popping the popcorn.

In the aftermath of the Broncos hiring Sean Payton to coach the team, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that the Broncos “spent today trying to hire DeMeco Ryans AGAIN today before he recommitted to the Texans.” Rapoport also has reported that, after Ryans agreed to terms with the Texans, the Broncos pivoted to Payton.

In response, the Broncos are making it known to numerous reporters that they did not attempt to hire Ryans today, and that they have had no contact with him -- directly or indirectly -- since last week.

One source with knowledge of the situation described the report as a “complete fabrication.” The source said that there has been no communication with Ryans or his agent, directly or indirectly, since last week. Nothing through players, intermediaries, or back channels.

The source was as emphatic with me as any source has ever been. But Rapoport’s report remains up.

Making it all more intriguing is that Rapoport works for a media outlet that is partially owned by the Broncos, since the 32 teams equally own the NFL and its various properties.

It creates quite a standoff, one that could be resolved ultimately with the involvement of 345 Park Avenue. The Broncos seem to be very upset. Rapoport is standing firm.

Who knows what the truth really is on this one? But if the Broncos did indeed spend Tuesday trying to hire Ryans before pivoting to Payton, I’d love to know how much time was devoted to trying to hire Ryans before the move was made to Payton.

Given that the Broncos had to do a deal both with the Saints for compensation for Payton and with Payton for his contract, it seems like it was a pretty damn full day.