Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett reportedly hired as new Denver head coach

The Green Bay Packers will have a new offensive coordinator in 2022.

Nathaniel Hackett, who had held that position under coach Matt LaFleur for the last three years, was hired Thursday as the new head coach with the Denver Broncos.

The news was first reported by the NFL Network.

Hackett was a sought after head coaching candidate. He interviewed with multiple teams, including the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. The 42-year-old has been in the NFL for all but three years since 2006. That included stints as the offensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars before coming to Green Bay in 2019.

The move is likely to increase chatter around the future of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He and Hackett are close, with the former saying last season that “nobody in the building brings me more joy or is more fun” than the latter. Rodgers went on to say “I hope he doesn’t go anywhere…unless I do.”

Denver reportedly pursued Rodgers last offseason when there was discord between the quarterback and the Packers front office. The Broncos roster is filled with talent but they’ve struggled to find a quarterback since Peyton Manning retired following the 2015 season. Last year’s team was led by Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. That duo combined for 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Rodgers is expected to make a decision on his future within the next month. He has said all options are all on the table — returning to Green Bay on a new contract, working out a trade with another team or retiring.

LaFleur told reporters Monday that if Hackett got a head coaching position, he planned to promote from within. The most likely replacement would be quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy. He interviewed for the Denver job as well and has been Green Bay’s passing game coordinator the last two seasons. The 37-year-old is also very close to Rodgers.