Denver Broncos GM candidate tracker: Who replaces John Elway?

Denver Broncos GM John Elway -USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos GM John Elway -USA TODAY Sports /

Denver Broncos GM candidate tracker: Who replaces John Elway?

The Denver Broncos’ general manager search is officially underway as the team has begun setting up the first round of interviews with prospective candidates.

The first confirmed interview was Champ Kelly of the Chicago Bears, and a number of other names have followed closely.

The Broncos are casting a wide net for this job, as they should. John Elway has been the team’s top decision-maker for 10 years, and now both he and his no. 2 Matt Russell are stepping away from their duties at the same time.

Who are the candidates the Broncos are bringing in for interviews?

Denver Broncos GM candidate tracker

1. Champ Kelly, Bears

Kelly spent 2007-14 with the Denver Broncos and has been working for the Chicago Bears since 2015. He’s done a lot of work on the pro scouting side, helping in the acquisition of some key (and very high-priced) free agents.

2. Terry Fontenot, Saints

Terry Fontenot has been part of building one of the most talented rosters in the NFL over the past decade-and-a-half with the New Orleans Saints.

New Orleans’ 2017 NFL Draft class is one of the best by any team in recent history and they have obviously drafted quite well besides. Fontenot has a ton of experience and would bring a fresh set of eyes to the Broncos.

3. Brian Stark, Broncos

John Elway made it a point to talk in his press conference about getting “different” perspective in the building, so hiring from within would be a curious move, but that doesn’t negate the fact that Brian Stark is worthy of an interview.

The Broncos have drafted much, much better in recent years and Stark has obviously had a part in that.

4. George Paton, Vikings

Of all the candidates so far, Paton may be the most qualified. He’s been working for the Vikings for 13 seasons and is the Assistant GM to Rick Spielman.

Paton has his hands in both the pro and college scouting departments with the Vikings.

5. Dave Ziegler

People have been trying to get a piece of the Patriots’ front office for a long time. The Houston Texans struck first with their GM hire of Nick Caserio, who has long been rumored a top GM candidate.

Dave Ziegler’s name also comes up frequently and obviously as Schefter stated, got his NFL start in Denver.

Interestingly enough, Ziegler would also be in line for a promotion in New England if he should decide to stay there. Who knows how desirable that job is, however, with Bill Belichick calling the majority of the shots.

Ziegler was the top choice to come with Josh McDaniels as GM when he was being considered for head coaching gigs in the 2020 circuit.