John Elway’s tenure denver broncos was kind sent to glue factory Wednesday, and now he can add “advisor” along with “general manager” and “Super Bowl-winning quarterback” to the list of roles he’s previously held for the organization. Thankfully for Donkos fans, before he could even draft another 6-foot-7 quarterback, Elway passed out and the team won the ring worse during his time there.
The Super Bowl 50 win/Peyton Manning moment was one of the few signs that Elway was good at his job, but it was more than enough to keep his divinity in the eyes of Coloradans. Now, Denver can focus on trying to revive Russell Wilson and Broncos country, and fans can go back to ignoring Elway’s politics.
I’m never in favor of franchises or schools hiring hometown heroes to right the ship because very few can end up as fairytale players, and more often than not meeting your heroes is a terrible idea, This is one of those rare instances where it has mostly worked out, despite the groans that have been heard from Broncos fans since Manning’s retirement.
Elway Wasn’t the Only GM to Whisper at the QB
Denver was part of a recent trend among franchises to acquire superstar QBs at the end of their careers and was the first to take a step toward success. Tampa Bay Tom Brady was able to do the same before turning away, and though Matthew Stafford may have a lot less in the tank than we first thought, he had the juice needed to bring los angeles a championship.
Denver is having less success with the old QB strategy this time around, but that may owe more to Wilson than the roster Elway helped build. With the exception of an consistently reliable offensive line, the team has had its fair share of talent over the last eight or so years, especially on defense. Last year was no different, even leading clear cleavage Because the defense committed the crime.
While the move was telegraphed when ownership changed Elway’s title to a consultant in 2022, I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. The success of the NFL hinges on who is under center, and every substitute since 2016 has been a colossal flop, and I’m not just saying that because of Elway’s obsession with
Here are all the quarterbacks Manning didn’t name to start games during the Elway front office era: Joe Flacco, Teddy Bridgewater, C.Like Keenum, Trevor Semin, Drew Lock, Paxton Lynch, and Brock Osweiler. There’s also been some Brett Rypien and Brandon Allen games, and lest I forget Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton.
I love some long quarterback jokes at Elway’s expense as much as the next snarky internet writer, so it thrills me that Denver used first or second round picks on Locke, Osweiler and Lynch. Three are a combined 25-31 during their NFL careers, none are still with Denver, only one is still in the league, and he lost a QB battle last season to Geno Smith.
Be that as it may, if you look at the quarterbacks Denver had a shot to draft during those years — 2012, 2016 and 2019 — the only glaring miss by Elway was Lynch over Dak Prescott. Personally, I would have taken Prescott, but that’s because I value college success over someone who has an NFL body and would have been sacked 18 times for my QB of choice.
Elway’s front office career is textbook, two things can be true at once. Yes, he brought Denver a title and a talented roster, yet the one thing every successful team needs, he failed to deliver after Manning retired.
I know it sucks that Russ “couldn’t win one for John,” but Elway should be grateful that his array of Denver Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep dealerships will still be looked upon fondly and it’s not like they’re going to do that. Owned by the guy who is driving Donkos into the dirt.