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Reports: Broncos pick Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett; could Aaron Rodgers follow?

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Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) before their game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, October 21, 2019 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINELPackers21 1 Hoffman
Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) before their game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, October 21, 2019 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINELPackers21 1 Hoffman

Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett agreed to become head coach of the Denver Broncos late Wednesday night.

Per multiple reports, Hackett scratched a second interview with the Jacksonville Jaguars after it become clear he was a match with Denver, where Vic Fangio was fired by general manager George Paton. The Broncos and Hackett are finalizing a contract Thursday, per the reports.

Hackett is a first-time head coach but was a popular target in the current NFL interview cycle. He’s also unequivocally endorsed by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“What he did in Jacksonville, I think, was pure magic,” Rodgers said this week in an interview with Pat McAfee. “Getting them within a quarter of the Super Bowl. He’s a great coach. I love spending time with him. He’s a fantastic teacher. He’s incredible in front of the room.”

Rodgers said this about Hackett’s head coaching prospects in November 2020:

“I hope he doesn’t go anywhere … unless I do.”

Hackett, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell were the finalists for the Broncos’ job.

Hackett, 42, just completed his third season as Packers’ offensive coordinator after holding the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2016-18) and Buffalo Bills (2013-14).

Fangio, 63, posted a 19-30 record with the Broncos. He had never been a head coach until the Broncos hired him.

Paton was one of the general managers to check in on the availability of Rodgers in April 2021, when the divide between the front office and Green Bay’s quarterback became public.

Rodgers said this week he plans to determine the next steps in his career before the start of free agency. Among the options are retirement, returning to the Packers or demanding a trade.

–Field Level Media