Broncos Shake Up Front Office, John Elway To Hire GM

Major shakeup out of Denver, as John Elway is giving up personnel control of the Broncos. In a surprising move, Elway will move to President of Football Operations, and will hire a GM who is in control of the roster, the team announced Monday.

As part of a transition I’ve thought about for a long time, I have made the decision to step up into an elevated role and hire a general manager to lead our personnel and football staff. While I’ll continue to be President of Football Operations in 2021, the GM will have final say on the draft, free agency and our roster. This person will be empowered to make all football decisions, working in partnership with Vic,” Elway said in a statement.

Under the new structure, both the new GM and Vic Fangio will report to Elway. Obviously the legendary former quarterback isn’t going anywhere, bu he is giving up a huge amount of power, and this feels like a way for the organization to bring in a new front office head without having to deal with the ordeal of firing Elway.

Elway took over in Denver in 2011, and obviously had quite a bit of success his first handful of years after luring Peyton Manning to the Broncos. That culminated in a win in Super Bowl 50, but things went downhill quickly after Manning and head coach Gary Kubiak retired.

The team has now endured four losing seasons in a row, and they have an unsettled quarterback situation with Drew Lock looking iffy his first two years in the league. Elway’s hire of Vance Joseph to replace Kubiak didn’t work out, and he’s drawn a lot of criticism for failing to stabilize things under center ever since Manning left. His one big swing in the draft, taking Paxton Lynch out of Memphis in the first-round, was an abject disaster.

There are now a whopping seven GM vacancies across the league. Elway’s top deputy has been Matt Russell, and he had an opportunity to interview for the GM job but declined and elected to retire, Adam Schefter of tweets.

Russell will stay on for the time being to help Elway with the GM search, Schefter says. Bears exec Champ Kelly, 49ers exec Adam Peters (who has been linked to several other openings), and Bucs exec John Spytek are all names to keep an eye on for this search, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network says (Twitter video link). Spytek previously was a national scout under Elway in Denver, Peters was with the Broncos from 2009-16, and Kelly was with the organization from 2007-14.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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21 comments on “Broncos Shake Up Front Office, John Elway To Hire GM

  1. ron swanson

    Fails upwards and the new GM can take the blame if the team fails. Wow.

    • Technically correct

      That’s the problem with the Broncos. You only need to stay on for 8 seconds to be considered successful.

  2. hammerlicious

    Agreed. Fangio is a DC at best but has no clue how to manage a game and I dont see it getting any better anytime soon.

  3. Ak185

    Anyone advocating for the firing of Fangio needs to get very comfortable with throwing away every positive this team has to offer in favor of short-lived emotional justification. The feel good effect of firing a coach for his record will not outlast the multiple years long rebuilding period that is sure to follow. This isn’t Ben McAdoo or Hue Jackson we’re talking about here. The Broncos’ record is bad currently, but the defense is playing very well considering its injuries and the number of unheralded contributors. The offense has an extremely promising wide receiving corps that is heavily reliant on first and second year players. The line is finally beginning to show semblance of competence.

    There are few positions reliant on aged vets. And yet there are people who think that blowing it all up and starting is the right course-for what, the quarterback? The QB is one piece. The Broncos have possible answers at so many other positions. There is a foundation intact that just needs one piece-at QB-to be successful. And, instead of just drafting or signing someone there, you’d rather fire everybody, necessitating a full rebuild (because whomever is your replacement is he will draft new players). And you’d probably lose Mike Munchak, who single-handedly turned Garrett Bolles into an All-Pro. Not Pro Bowler: All-Pro. That’s shortsighted and only serves to make yourself as a fan feel better, because in your mind somebody should pay for the team losing. Great, you’ll have punished the “evildoers”. Now, strap yourself in and get ready for an extension on your five wins a season license that’s been renewed for another three years.

    You’d have thought that people would learned from the Browns’ coaching carousel, but I guess not.

    • zpgreen

      This guy gets it. I will say Vic needs to get a little better at some in game decisions, but he doesn’t need to be fired. He needs more time. Get a competent GM and some new scouting voices to look at QBs and address the issues there. Everything else is developing properly at a normal timeline.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Defense wins championships and there are few better architects of defense than Fangio. Everyone wants the latest young “whiz kid” but usually those guys are all sizzle and no steak.

    • Arnold Ziffel

      Agree with AK185. The team will be much improved next year with the experience the young offense gained. I look for a playoff run next year.

  4. BMarty2323

    Oh, so after 5 years of awful draft picks and coaching hires, Elway has decided to promote himself? “I have made the decision to step up into an elevated role and hire a general manager”. Wow, what an ego. Infuriating seeing how many great young QB’s he’s passed on, instead we’re rolling with our clown car of Siemian, Keenum, Flacco, Paxton the Pirate, and now Lock. Hiring turd coaches with no experience that can’t manage the game or hold a lead? Vance was incredibly bad at his job, and what Fangio did against the Raiders at the end of the game was a fireable offense. Unbelievable.

    • zpgreen

      Elway is an all time great QB talent, but also an all time great brat. This is the same guy that forced his way out of playing for the colts by complaining and refusing to play for them if they drafted him.

  5. bigun

    Nothing will change until the ownership situation is resolved. This is just like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  6. tim2686

    I just wish I had the ability to say that I am quitting my current role and promoting myself. I mean come on man.

    • julyn82001

      LOL u had to admit for a second that promoting ourselves would be cool still, right?

    • What’s your Super Bowl record? How many votes before you were accepted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton?

      Elway has earned most of his elbow room.

      • rondon

        Come on. No one’s talking about what he did on the field. But it hasn’t translated to the FO and his pompous “promotion” is a way of getting himself out of the line of fire and not assuming responsibility for the mess they’re in.

  7. inkstainedscribe

    Elway got lucky with Peyton. It’s always possible he never would have played again after the neck injury. The luck ran out fast. Broncos fans better hope Elway is better at evaluating front office talent than he was evaluating players.

  8. Is actually 5 straight losing seasons. And Kubiak didn’t retire, he took a consulting role with minnesota

    • Ak185

      What? The Broncos won the Super Bowl five years ago. They had a winning record the year after, that Siemian started. They missed the playoffs, but they ended 9-7. So, counting this year, it’s four.

      And Kubiak did retire. He unretired to take that Minnesota job.

  9. GF1964

    Elway Haters, seen them come and go for over 30 years. “He can’t win the Big One!”, the Haters claimed. He helped his team win two. Haters-0 Elway-1
    “He got lucky getting Manning and that is why they won!” Manning was barely an average QB (not even playing in 12 regular season games his last season) when the team won another SB while Elway was GM. Anybody who knows football (I normally don’t include the Haters in this category) knows it was the defense Elway constructed that was the biggest reason they won SB 50. Let me repeat that for the short bus crowd, IT WAS THE DEFENSE THAT LEAD THE TEAM ALL SEASON AND WHY THE TEAM WON SB 50 NOT MANNING!!!!!! Haters-0 Elway-2.

    Things have gone……..poorly these last four years and yes, Elway has made too many personnel mistakes to keep things the same. Change was needed and so it happened. The Haters think they finally have Elway, time will tell but if the past is prolog my money is on John. When all is said and done, I say the final score will be Haters-0 Elway-3.

    But you Haters keep on hating. I know I have enjoyed you wonder kids for the past 37 years and hope to enjoy your ignorance and stupidity for a while longer.

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