Don't Be Surprised If Wade Phillips Ends Up In Washington

As a free agent, Wade Phillips could be in hot demand for open defensive coordinator positions across the league.

When your defense carries an ineffectual offense all the way to a Super Bowl Championship, propping up a 39-year-old quarterback along the way, you're going to gain some notoriety. Wade Phillips has served as the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator for the past two seasons and was a key factor in the team bringing home their third Lombardi Trophy a year ago. 

However, Phillips is a free agent. His contract expired and even before the Broncos knew that Gary Kubiak would step down as head coach, they've been less than enthusiastic about re-signing Phillips. With the news breaking that the Washington Redskins have parted ways with their DC, Joe Barry, buzz has picked up that the motivating factor behind their decision was Phillips' availability. Owner Dan Snyder is not afraid to spend money, and wields his wallet like a cudgel to get his way. 

What I've heard is that after the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, Phillips took a look around, saying to himself that he deserves to be the highest paid DC in the NFL. With how ambiguous the Broncos have been about bringing Phillips back, I doubt Snyder would have any reservations about paying Phillips the money he wants. 

Publicly, Phillips has stated that he wants to return to the Broncos. But with the familiar bond in Kubiak gone, and a shiny piece of hardware on his ring finger, perhaps Phillips is more interested in the big paycheck Washington would surely offer, at this point in his career.

One mitigating factor we can't overlook is the fact that Wade's son, Wes Phillips, is Washington's tight ends coach. I've been saying it for about a week now, but Broncos fans need to prepare themselves for the eventuality that Wade Phillips does not return. 

If Phillips leaves, it won't be the end of the world. GM John Elway has kept the defense well-stocked, whether it be through the college ranks or the free agent market. He's already stated that he's going to keep the defensive nucleus in tact, but still endeavor to improve against the run. 

That means the Broncos will be looking to add personnel to the front seven — defensive line and inside linebacker corps. The first order of business, however, is finding a new head coach. 

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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