Sean Payton roasts Broncos tryout QB Ben DiNucci

Sean Payton’s got jokes.

The Denver Broncos held a rookie minicamp practice on Saturday featuring their draft picks, undrafted free agent signings, last year’s practice squad players and more than a dozen tryout players.

One of the players that tried out over the weekend was quarterback Ben DiNucci, who spent time with the Dallas Cowboys from 2020-2022 before starring in the XFL this spring.

One of DiNucci’s passes during Saturday’s practice was intercepted by linebacker Drew Sanders, who was a third-round pick in April. After practice, Payton teased the QB publicly for the interception by retelling a comment he made to DiNucci.

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“Unfortunately for Ben DiNucci, it was his first interception and there was more to that interception if you looked at it,” Payton said. “It was good play by Sanders and it was right in front of Greg Penner. I was telling Greg before practice how this Ben DiNucci was doing well.

“I told Ben — I said, ‘You know, he owns Walmart. If it doesn’t work out here, I’m sure there’s a greeting opportunity somewhere at one of his local stores.’ It was good play by Drew.”

Boom, roasted.

Penner, of course, is the son-in-law of Broncos majority owner Rob Walton, the billionaire heir of Walton. Penner is now a co-owner of the club and he acts as the day-to-day owner as chief executive officer.


The fact that Payton would make such a comment about DiNucci in a playful manner might actually be a good sign for the QB’s chances of getting an invite to training camp. It seems like the kind of joking comment Payton would make to a player he likes rather than a cutting criticism of a camp arm.

If Denver does plan to sign DiNucci, the team will have to wait until Monday — that’s when XFL players become eligible to sign with NFL teams for 2023.

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Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire