By Jesse Sarles

(CBS4) – The Denver Broncos hiring of Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach had nothing to do with trying to acquire Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the offseason. That’s according to GM George Paton, who said the move was definitely not part of any “package deal.”

Paton responded “absolutely not” when asked about it during an introductory news conference with Hackett at team headquarters in Englewood on Friday afternoon.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass against the Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos in the first half of the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 1, 2015 in Denver.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass against the Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos at Mile High in 2015. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Denver fired Vic Fangio after a 7-10 season. Hackett’s hire of the former Packers offensive coordinator has raised speculation about trying to lure Rodgers to Denver.

Nathaniel Hackett

Nathaniel Hackett (credit: CBS)

When it was his turn to speak at the news conference, Hackett said he’s flat out thrilled to be the new coach of the Broncos.

“To say that I’m excited would be an understatement,” he said.

And for whoever winds up starting at QB for the Broncos next season, Hackett said he values the following qualities in their on-field offensive leader: “toughness and intelligence.”

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Jesse Sarles