Denver Broncos: John Elway deserves a contract extension

Denver Broncos GM John Elway. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos GM John Elway. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos: John Elway deserves a contract extension

I cannot begin to quantify how many times I have heard or seen somebody, whether it be a Broncos fan or media talking head, talk down about John Elway and his tenure as Denver Broncos General Manager.  Simply put, they want him gone. They think he’s done a bad job, and their arguments for wanting his dismissal are logical fallacies.

Since he took the reins as the GM of the Denver Broncos, Elway has been one of the premier executives in the league, and he deserves every bit of a contract extension.

You cannot change my mind.

Before you come for my head with torches and pitchforks, hear me out for the next few hundred words.

No GM is perfect, even the “elite” GMs are generally poor at executing at least one aspect of being a good GM. So, let’s briefly look at some of the best in the league in recent years.

John Schneider of the Seattle Seahawks keeps swinging and missing on first-round picks. John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers overpays for players and as a result, is now in a cap crunch. Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots cannot draft wide receivers for the life of him (seriously, he cannot, and it shows on the field).

Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys can’t get out of his own way and drafted a wide receiver in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft when the Cowboys had serious defensive questions. Howie Roseman of the Philadelphia Eagles also cannot draft wide receivers, and it appears he may have missed on Carson Wentz. Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals is simply a bad GM who allowed Joe Burrow to take unnecessary shots on the field before tearing his ACL.

Beyond that, I haven’t even gotten into the “middle of the pack” GMs who have not necessarily achieved much success at all, like Ryan Pace, Steve Kiem, Chris Grier, Tom Telesco, Rick Spielman, and others.

Of the GMs I just mentioned, there are only two who have a comparable (or better) track record than John Elway — John Schneider and Bill Belichick.

The truth is, most general managers in the league would kill to have the long-term success John Elway has achieved.

In his 10th year as the Broncos GM, the Broncos have five AFC West titles, two AFC Championship Game appearances, two Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl win, and perhaps the greatest free agent signing in the history of the NFL in Peyton Manning.

You can make the argument that the free agents who came to Denver after Manning signed did so because of Manning and not Elway, but the truth is, it was Elway who had to pitch his “brand” to Peyton, and it was John Elway who ultimately signed him, so, he deserves a plethora of credit.

I get that the last several years have stunk, to put it mildly, but the Broncos and John Elway have overhauled the roster since Super Bowl 50, with only two players remaining: Kicker Brandon “McMoney” McManus and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller.

The Broncos also boast the youngest offense in the NFL, and one of the youngest overall teams, which is usually a good sign. Elway and company have also drafted/scouted very well since 2016, netting players like Will Parks, Justin Simmons, Garett “Pro” Bolles, Courtland Sutton, Bradley Chubb, Josey Jewell, Dalton Risner, Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Alexander Johnson, and Phillip Lindsay.

In the most important aspect of operating as a general manager, John Elway has truly redeemed himself and put together solid draft class after solid draft class. Seriously, has there been a team who has drafted as well as the Broncos have recently? Howie Roseman cannot draft, Bill Belichick isn’t great in the draft, and the Chiefs were assembled by John Dorsey, not Brett Veach, so the verdict is still out on him in my opinion.

Look, I know I won’t convince the “Fire Elway” hardliners, but I believe there are truckloads of evidence that suggest John Elway has been a successful GM. He helped bring a third Super Bowl trophy, and, if we’re being honest, he may be a Drew Lock away from a borderline Hall of Fame GM career.

Think about it, if Lock can put it together, this team will go far, especially with a Vic Fangio-led defense.

John Elway deserves a contract extension, he’s earned it, and there is still work to be done.