Broncos, Browns, Jets hire head coaches

Forget RPOs. John Elway is going with AARP.

Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, 60, reportedly has accepted Elway’s offer to become the Denver next head coach, a person with knowledge of the agreement said Wednesday.

The former Stanford and 49ers defensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh is expected to be introduced as the club’s 17th head coach Thursday.

Fangio replaces Vance Joseph, who was fired on New Year’s Eve after posting the franchise’s first back-to-back losing seasons since the early 1970s.

Fangio and Elway, who turns 59 this summer, will make up one of the oldest head coach-GM duos in the NFL in 2019.

Although Fangio, who turns 61 in August, has no NFL head-coaching experience, he has been an assistant for 32 years in the NFL and 34 seasons overall, beginning with the Philadelphia Stars of the old USFL in 1984.

Browns promote Kitchens: Freddie Kitchens, who had a dazzling eight-week run as Cleveland’s interim offensive coordinator after beginning the season as the running backs coach, reportedly is finalizing a contract to become the Browns’ ninth head coach since the franchise’s 1999 rebirth.

ESPN was first to announce the decision.

Also, Gregg Williams, who went 5-3 as Cleveland’s interim head coach and defensive coordinator this season, is no longer with the team.

Kitchens has no previous head-coaching experience, but his work with Cleveland’s offense — most notably quarterback Baker Mayfield — in the season’s second half vaulted him ahead of the other six candidates interviewed by the Browns.

Jets to hire Gase: Adam Gase, fired as Miami’s head coach last week, reportedly will succeed Todd Bowles as the Jets’ head coach.

Gase, who was 23-26 in three seasons with the Dolphins, will be the Jets’ first head-coach hire with previous NFL experience in the role since Bill Parcells’ three-year tenure (1997-99).

Gase will work closely with general manager Mike Maccagnan, who was retained by team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson, to put together a competitive roster around quarterback Sam Darnold. The Jets are expected to have around $100 million in salary-cap space this offseason.

Briefly: Defensive lineman Brandon Mebane is likely to play for the Chargers on Sunday following the death of his 7-week old daughter. Mebane, a Cal alum, had missed five of the past seven games, including Sunday’s wild-card game at Baltimore, to be with his family. Makenna Mebane died Jan. 3. She was born Nov. 12 with a heart condition. … The NFL and the NFL Players Association say former 49ers cornerback Eric Reid was not singled out with excessive drug tests this season while playing for Carolina. Reid has said he believes he was tested repeatedly because of his pending lawsuit against the league. … Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer hired Kevin Stefanski as offensive coordinator. Stefanski was promoted Dec. 11 as the interim replacement for John DeFilippo, who was fired in his first season on the job. … Atlanta coach Dan Quinn hired special-teams coordinator Ben Kotwica, who was with Washington the past five seasons.

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