Paton: Rodgers 'absolutely not' a factor in Broncos' decision to hire Hackett

Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Denver Post / Getty

Denver Broncos general manager George Paton denied that his club hired Nathaniel Hackett to lure quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the franchise.

"Absolutely not," Paton said during Friday's press conference introducing the Broncos' newest head coach.

Hackett served as the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator from 2019-21, boasting one of the NFL's top offenses with Rodgers under center.

The Packers signal-caller hasn't said whether he wants to be traded, retire, or remain with the club for the 2022 season. However, Rodgers said this week on the "Pat McAfee Show" that a decision on his future could come in late February.

Hackett praised Rodgers on Friday as one of his biggest supporters, adding that he learned plenty from being around the three-time NFL MVP.

"Coaching a man like that ... you better have an answer to every question because he's going to have a question about every single thing that you do," Hackett said.

Denver's new head coach said he'll call the offensive plays for the team, which he did during his stints as the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills. Head coach Matt Lafleur did play-calling duties during Hackett's tenure with the Packers.

The Broncos are interviewing Los Angeles Chargers tight ends coach Kevin Koger for their vacant offensive coordinator position, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hackett, a first-time head coach, said he plans to discuss the entire roster, including the Broncos' quarterback situation, with Paton in the coming days.

Starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is set to become a free agent, leaving Drew Lock and Brett Rypien as the only passers on the roster.

While it's unclear who'll line up under center next season, Hackett said he's excited to inherit a young team and insists the offense will take shots down the field.

Paton: Rodgers 'absolutely not' a factor in Broncos' decision to hire Hackett
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