Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan has emerged as a top candidate for the Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator position, reports Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

Ryan, who has been an analyst for ESPN since being fired by the Bills in 2016, reportedly met with new Broncos head coach Sean Payton recently to discuss him joining the staff.

The 60-year-old last worked as a defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens from 2005-08 before being hired by the Jets.

Ryan – who’s known for his brash coaching style – immediately turned New York into a contender, with the club making back-to-back AFC Championship Games while also winning 20 regular season games in his first two years.

However, the Jets failed to make the postseason again under Ryan. They went 26-38 over the next four seasons, with Ryan being fired following a 4-12 campaign in 2014.

Ryan was hired by Buffalo several weeks later but only made it two seasons into a five-year contract. He was dismissed after the Bills were eliminated from playoff contention in Week 16 of the 2016 season, finishing with an overall record of 15-16.

Ryan’s brother, Rob, served as Payton’s defensive coordinator with the New Orleans Saints from 2013-15.

Denver is looking for a new defensive coordinator after releasing Ejiro Evero from his contract. Evero quickly landed the same role with the Carolina Panthers.

Got a story or tip for us? Email Sports Gossip editors at 

Want More From Sports Gossip? 

For all the latest breaking Sports Gossip, be sure to follow on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.