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Sean Payton ‘wouldn’t rule out’ Patriots assistant Matt Patricia still joining the Broncos

Patricia unsuccessfully interviewed for Denver’s defensive coordinator job, but might still join the club.

NFL: SEP 12 Dolphins at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Matt Patricia leaving the New England Patriots to join the Denver Broncos is still a possibility, at least according to Sean Payton.

Speaking to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, the Broncos’ new head coach said that he “wouldn’t rule out” Patricia being added to his staff in some capacity. The 48-year-old had previously interviewed for Denver’s defensive coordinator position, but was not offered the job.

Even with Vance Joseph getting that position over him, the door for Patricia to move to Denver apparently remains open.

“I would say it’s a little early to answer that,” Payton said when asked about Patricia possibly working for the Broncos. “He and I are going to talk this week. I wouldn’t rule that out, though, if that possibly came to fruition, it would be for a few things. I’d certainly would want to talk to Vance and our defensive coaches, but I know Matt well enough to know how smart he is and what he can contribute. So, we’ll see.”

Patricia entered the 2023 offseason after a one-year stint as the Patriots’ de facto co-offensive coordinator. Despite only limited experience on that side of the ball, the team decided to install him as its unofficial play-caller — choosing him to lead the unit together with quarterbacks coach Joe Judge.

The results left a lot to be desired, however, leaving New England to replace both coaches. But while it appears that Judge will have a role with the Patriots moving forward, Patricia’s future is far less clear.

Payton’s statements on Tuesday, however, suggest that his career might continue in Denver rather than with the club he spent 16 of his 19 NFL seasons with.

“He’s outstanding,” Payton said. “I’ve known him for a long time. We’ve practiced against the Patriots. I think he’s extremely talented. I think they’ve won five Super Bowls while he was [coaching] defenses. So, that was easy. I knew right away I wanted to interview Matt.”

Patricia originally joined the Patriots as an offensive assistant in 2004. After two years on that side, he switched to defense and steadily climbed up the organizational ladder. By 2012 he was defensive coordinator and led the unit to two Super Bowl wins.

He then left to become head coach with the Detroit Lions. After three mostly disappointing seasons, Patricia returned to New England to first serve as a senior football advisor and later to help replace long-time offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.