On Tuesday evening, a video emerged on Twitter of The Times-Picayune‘s Jeff Duncan saying in an interview with Louisiana’s ESPN affiliate radio station that the Denver Broncos’ potential second-round interview with Sean Payton was delayed because team owner Rob Walton was away on a hunting trip. The video has since been deleted it Twitter, but it is still available on Streamable.com.
It seems that Duncan did not expect that nugget of information to reach Broncos Country, but it created a stir on Twitter on Tuesday evening. Troy Renck of KMGH-TV quickly rebutted the report.
“I was told by source that this is not case regarding hunting trip,” Renck tweeted. “#Broncos have taken deliberate approach and will be setting up second interviews. Just nothing known/official yet.”
Duncan himself made a huge retraction shortly thereafter, tweeting this:
Folks, I was told this by someone close to the situation about the reasoning but had not been able to confirm it so I should have never mentioned it in a public forum. I certainly wasn’t “reporting” it and didn’t expect this to become “a thing” in Denver. My regrets & apologies.
So, from the original reporter, the notion that the team’s coaching search was delayed by a Walton hunting trip has been debunked.
It seems that Denver’s search has not been delayed at all. Rather, as Renck noted, the team is simply being methodical in their process. Meanwhile, the chances of Payton staying at Fox seem to be increasing.
The Broncos “seem to be focusing their attention elsewhere,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. “Not saying he’s [Payton is] out, but they do seem to be focusing elsewhere.” Rapoport indicated on Wednesday that all five teams with head coach openings could end up with non-Payton options.
The wait continues.