The team’s legendary QB and longtime GM has taken on a less stressful role for 2021. George Paton is the new man in charge, but No.7 will be there.
ENGLEWOOD, Colorado – For better and then for worse, none other than John Elway, the greatest Bronco player of all, has spent the past 10 years building Denver’s roster.
He started in 2011 with a 4-12 legacy mess left by Josh McDaniels. The first shot Elway made, he took Von Miller with the No.2 pick in the 2011 draft. (Free agency that year was delayed until the start of training camp due to the lockdown. off-season).
Behind Tim Tebow, a quarterback Elway admired for his bizarre ability to pull off late games but could never embrace long-term due to his passing difficulties, the Broncos won their division and then a playoff game in this magical first season of 2011.
Then came the free agent bet of attracting the superstar in the event of injury to quarterback Peyton Manning. It was the best move Elway has ever made as GM. The Broncos broke a four-year regular-season record of 50-14, plus two Super Bowl appearances and a Lombardi Trophy. Segment the record and achievements and a case can be made Elway had the best start of five years as a general manager in NFL history.
Only to be followed by the Broncos’ worst five-year streak in the past 50 years.
And so Elway and Broncos CEO Joe Ellis mutually agreed it was time to take a fresh look to assess talent and new ideas on roster building methods. Elway moved upstairs for a consultant role. His official title is that of president of football operations. What was his title before only was it followed by a slash and a GM. Now there is no slash or anything after it.
George Paton, who spent the previous 14 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as an assistant general manager, has become the Broncos’ new construction manager.
Which leads to question # 7 in the 9NEWS series of 9 questions the Broncos face as they show up to training camp a week from today.
7. What will John Elway’s role be in 2021?
Iproblem: Elway has one more year left on the five-year contract extension that made him the highest-paid general manager in the NFL after the 2016 season. He and Ellis headed the GM search committee that led to the hiring. by Paton.
Background: Thanks in part to Elway’s refusal to intervene, Paton was the man who made all the decisions during the offseason. It was Paton who filled the gaping void of the team’s cornerback by signing Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller in free agency. And it was Paton who decided to double down using the team’s No. 9 overall selection in the first round to take on another cornerback, Patrick Surtain.
Elway offered his contribution. He watched the recording of college prospects entering the draft, particularly top-caliber quarterbacks and top-20 prospects overall. Elway loved the hope of quarterback Justin Fields. And Elway loved Surtain.
Paton called Surtain.
Resolution: Elway will always work. And Paton is an inclusive decision maker. It absorbs the opinions of each Scout. And he wants, even seeks, Elway’s input. Elway will be attending training camp for the Broncos. Maybe not every day, but he will be there. He will give Paton his two cents on the players currently on the roster, and any possible deal. But removing the stress that comes with making every decision about roster and football operations over the past 10 years in such a public forum has allowed Elway to relax and feel semi-retired. He played a lot of golf in the late spring and early summer.
Let’s see what happens once the season kicks off and Elway’s ever-prodigious competitive juices kick in.
RELATED: Question # 8 in Broncos’ Training Camp Preview: Can Offense Average 25 Points Per Game?
RELATED: Question # 9 As Broncos Go Into Training Camp: Can They Beat The Chiefs?
Broncos Podcast: Mike Drop by Klis
Denver Broncos titles, game previews, and interviews with our 9NEWS insider Mike Klis.
MORE WAYS TO GET 9NEWS
Subscribe to our daily 9NEWSLETTER
Download the 9NEWS app
Google play: http://on9news.tv/1lWnC5n
HOW TO ADD THE 9NEWS APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KUSA.
For Apple TV and Fire TV, search for “9news” to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to send the app directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.