NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator thanked the team for their interest, but made it clear that he plans to withdraw his name from consideration in order to focus on a Peyton Manning-led squad preparing to play in Super Bowl XLVIII, according to a source informed of Gase's thinking.
We saw this one coming from a mile away. Rapoport has said for weeks that Gase would need a perfect situation to pry him away from Denver. Just 35, the Broncos play-caller is one of the hottest young coordinators around, but another year working with Manning should position him well for the job of his choice down the road.
It's an unsettling development for the Browns, widely believed to have fallen hard for Gase while also showing interest in Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Buffalo Bills defensive play-caller Mike Pettine. Both of those candidates are on the radar for a second interview this week, Rapoport was told.
We still wouldn't be surprised to see another mystery candidate emerge from the haze of this search, but if that doesn't happen, the Browns -- long believed to be seeking an offensive-minded innovator -- might wind up with a coach from the other side of the ball.
Stay tuned, Cleveland.