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Report: Beyond DeMeco Ryans, the Broncos have many “top candidates”

Mike Florio and Peter King weigh in on if there’s any truth behind reports of Sean Payton’s concerns with an unnamed member of the Broncos ownership.

Now that it appears that the Broncos may lose “top candidate” DeMeco Ryans to the Texans, it’s time to pivot to Plan B.

But it’s not a pivot, supposedly. Mike Klis of contends that the Broncos have other “top candidates.” Seven in all, per Klis.

Seven seems like a lot of “top candidates.” The phrase “top candidate” logically should be limited to maybe two or three.

On Thursday, the report from Klis mentioned seven total candidates. It listed four near the top of the article -- Ryans, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, former Saints coach Sean Payton, and former Lions and Colts coach Jim Caldwell. Later, the report added current Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, and former Stanford coach David Shaw.

With Quinn deciding to stay in Dallas, that’s six total candidates. But now there supposedly are seven “top candidates.”

Frankly, this feels like an effort to lay the foundation for the very real possibility that the No. 1 choice (Ryans) will decide to coach the Texans instead, forcing the Broncos to move on to No. 2. The Broncos won’t want to allow the impression to exist that they settled for anything other than their top choice.

With a primary owner worth $70 billion, the Broncos could easily win a financial tug of war with the Texans for Ryans, if the Broncos want him badly enough. But the NFL’s newest owners also won’t want to make waves by blowing the salary curve for entry-level coaches.

Regardless, yesterday’s news is that Ryans was a top candidate in Denver. Today’s news is that, apparently, every candidate is a top candidate -- including a candidate who has made it clear he’s no longer a candidate.