Denver was just too alluring for Gary Kubiak.
According to multiple reports, the Ravens' former offensive coordinator is accepting a four-year deal to be the Denver Broncos' next head coach.
A week after saying he would stay in Baltimore, Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway lured Kubiak away to Denver.
Elway and Kubiak are longtime friends. Kubiak backed up Elway at quarterback for all nine years he was in the NFL (1983 – 1991). Kubiak then went on to coach in Denver for 11 years. So he has two decades of ties to the Broncos.
It's a heartbreaker for the Ravens, especially considering Kubiak had already committed to being back.
Head Coach John Harbaugh has never been one to deny his coaches opportunities elsewhere, and he allowed Kubiak to interview this weekend.
Last Sunday, Kubiak said it was "flattering and humbling" to be invited to interview for head coaching jobs, but declined those interviews, reportedly from the Bears and Jets.
"This is a special organization and we, like Coach Harbaugh says, are building something great," Kubiak said. "I want to be a part of that and contribute in whatever ways I can."
But that was before the Broncos' job opened up.
Now the Ravens will have to build something great with their fourth offensive coordinator in as many years. Baltimore had Cam Cameron and Jim Caldwell in 2012, Caldwell in 2013, Kubiak in 2014 and now somebody else in 2015.
Kubiak, who was the Houston Texans head coach for eight seasons before coming to Baltimore, brought his zone-stretch, play-action passing system to the Ravens with great success.
Baltimore posted franchise records in points (25.6) and yards (364.9) per game. It went from being ranked 29th in total offense last year to 12th this season. The Ravens dramatically improved their rushing game that finished last in the NFL in 2013 with 3.1 yards per carry.
The Ravens felt like with Kubiak originally staying, they could even improve on those numbers given a second year in the system.
"I feel like it means we can continue to build on what we started," guard Kelechi Osemele said last Sunday. "We're a really young team and we have a lot of young players. It definitely would have been a loss [if he left]."
Kubiak could also take some assistant coaches with him, including Ravens Quarterbacks Coach Rick Dennison and Tight Ends Coach Brian Pariani, who Kubiak brought with him from Houston last offseason.
The Ravens will immediately begin their search for Kubiak's replacement, and may target coordinators who would run a similar system. Kyle Shanahan, who was a finalist for the job last offseason, is available after leaving the Cleveland Browns.
For historians, this is the second time Elway has negotiated a Baltimore departure to Colorado. He was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the first overall pick in the 1983 draft, but forced a trade to Denver.