Monday's NFL: Broncos add Kelly Kleine to front office in historic scouting hire

Associated Press

Englewood, Colo. — The Denver Broncos have hired former Vikings scouting executive Kelly Kleine as executive director of football operations and special adviser to the general manager.

That makes Kleine the highest-ranking woman in football operations at an NFL club. Additionally, she’s believed to be the highest-ranking female scouting executive in league history.

The Broncos hired Kelly Kleine as executive director of football operations and special advisor to the general manager.

Kleine, who worked with Broncos first-year general manager George Paton for nine years in Minnesota, will have scouting duties and manage several departments, the team said.

The Broncos said Kleine will “be involved in all aspects of the Broncos’ personnel department, including player evaluation, NFL Draft/free agency preparations and day-to-day football administration.”

Paton called Kleine “a rising star in the NFL.”

“Having worked with her for nine years in Minnesota, Kelly has a strong understanding of all aspects of football operations and player evaluation along with outstanding leadership qualities,” Paton said. “She will be a tremendous resource with her experience on the pro and college sides as well as her knowledge of our grading scale and football calendar.”

Kleine most recently served as the Vikings’ manager of player personnel/college scout from 2019-20.

A native of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Kleine began her NFL career as a public relations intern with the Vikings in 2012 and was a scouting administration intern the following year.

A 2013 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Kleine was promoted to scouting assistant in 2014 and served as the Vikings’ college scouting coordinator from 2015-18.

Extra points

The Eagles and four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Ryan Kerrigan have agreed on a one-year contract.

The 32-year-old Kerrigan played 10 seasons in Washington and is the franchise’s all-time leader with 95½ sacks.

… The Packers signed Kurt Benkert in their latest attempt to add quarterback depth while MVP Aaron Rodgers’ future with the team remains unclear.

Benkert, who is 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, signed with the Falcons in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia. He spent the 2018 and 2020 seasons on Atlanta’s practice squad and was on injured reserve in 2019.

… Robert Mathis, the Colts’ career sacks leader, will finally be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor on Nov. 28.

He was supposed to become the 17th honoree last fall but the ceremony was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rescheduled ceremony will take place at halftime of Indy’s game against Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay.