A recap of John Elway's moments as Denver Broncos GM

Former Broncos' GM John Elway
Former Broncos' GM John Elway / Sam Greenwood/GettyImages

John Elway, the legendary Denver Broncos quarterback, was the team's General Manager before George Paton. Elway stepped down as the GM after the 2020 season, the COVID-19 year, but stayed with the team as the President of Football Operations, then moved to be a consultant for new General Manager George Paton. On April 1, 2023, Elway's contract with the team ended, and he was not given a new deal. With that being said, John Elway does not have a role with the Denver Broncos anymore, and he is no longer a part of the organization, in other words, he does not have a job within the Broncos. John will always be remembered as a player and as a General Manager...

Now, let's remember the best moments from John Elway's tenure as the Denver Broncos General Manager.

In January, 2011, John Elway was named the Denver Broncos General Manager and was also named the Vice-President of Football Operations. Elway's first move as the Broncos' GM, hiring Head Coach John Fox to a four-year deal.

In Free Agency and the 2011 NFL Draft, Elway re-Signed star CB Champ Bailey and signed OL Manny Ramirez. Among the drafted players that year were EDGE Von Miller, OT Orlando Franklin, TE Julius Thomas, TE Virgil Green, and the Broncos signed undrafted free agent CB Chris Harris Jr.

The Denver Broncos won their first AFC West title since 2005, with an 8-8 win-loss record. They won their first playoff game against the Steelers with Tim Tebow's 80-yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas in overtime, but lost against New England in the Divisional Round.

In 2012, Elway signed superstar QB Peyton Manning to a four-year deal, franchise-tagged K Matt Prater and then gave him a four-year extension, re-signed OL Manny Ramirez, and signed WRs Andre Caldwell & Brandon Stokley. He traded QB Tim Tebow to the Jets. Among the drafted players were DL Derek Wolfe, QB Brock Osweiler, RB Ronnie Hillman, EDGE Malik Jackson, and LB Danny Trevathan.

The Denver Broncos finished the 2012 regular season with a 13-3 win-loss record, winning the AFC West, additionally the Broncos were the No. 1 Seed in the AFC Conference, locking a BYE week for the Wild Card round, but lost in a heartbreak Double OT Game against the Ravens on the Divisional Round 35-38.

In the 2013 offseason, Elway and the Broncos franchise tagged OT Ryan Clady and then gave him a contract extension, signed DL Terrance Knighton, OL Louis Vasquez, LB Brandon Marshall, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and WR Wes Welker. Among the drafted players: DL Sylvester Williams, RB Montee Ball, S Kayvon Webster, and signed undrafted free agent RB CJ Anderson after the Draft.

During the 2013 regular season, HC John Fox had heart surgery, so Elway named DC Jack Del Rio the interim Head Coach while Fox was out. The Broncos won the AFC West with a 13-3 win-loss record, locking the No. 1 AFC Seed for the Playoffs in back-to-back years. They lost Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks 8-43.

In the 2014 offseason, Elway re-signed CB Chris Harris Jr. and LB Brandon Marshall, signed LB Todd Davis, WR Emmanuel Sanders, CB Aqib Talib, S TJ Ward, and Hall Of Fame DE DeMarcus Ware. He traded for kicker Brandon McManus. Among the drafted players were CB Bradley Roby, WR Cody Latimer, OL Michael Schoefield & Matt Paradis, LB Corey Nelson, and signed Undrafted Free Agents: LB Shaquill Barrett, and WR Bennie Fowler.

The Denver Broncos finished the 2014 season with a 12-4 win-loss record, winning the AFC West again. Got the No. 2 Seed in the AFC due to a head-to-head loss against the Patriots. They lost in the Divisional Round against the Indianapolis Colts.

After the loss in the 2014-15 Playoffs against the Colts, John Fox and the Broncos mutually agreed to part ways. John Elway later hired Gary Kubiak to be their next head coach. He also hired defensive genius Wade Phillips to be the DC.

In the 2015 offseason, Elway re-signed WR Demaryius Thomas & LB Brandon Marshall, and signed TE Owen Daniels, OT Ryan Harris, OG Evan Mathis, and S Darian Stewart. He traded for TE Vernon Davis during the season. Among the drafted players that year were EDGE Shane Ray, TE Jeff Heuerman, and QB Trevor Siemian.

The Denver Broncos finished with a 12-4 win-loss record, securing another AFC West title, and the No. 1 seed for the Playoffs. The Broncos defeated Pittsburgh in the Divisional Round and New England in the Conference Championship.

Super Bowl 50: Denver Broncos cement John Elway's legacy as a GM

Super Bowl 50 was one of the most memorable moments during John Elway's General Manager duties. The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10, Von Miller was named the Super Bowl MVP after an insane performance. It was the first season under HC Gary Kubiak too.

Following the Super Bowl win, QB Peyton Manning retired. They franchise tagged and then signed LB Von Miller to a contract extension, and re-signed WR Jordan Norwood, LB Brandon Marshall, RB CJ Anderson, LB Todd Davis, and DL Derek Wolfe. The team signed OT Russell Okung, RB Justin Forsett, and OT Billy Turner. Among the drafted players: QB Paxton Lynch, DL Adam Gotsis, S Justin Simmons, S Will Parks, and P Riley Dixon.

It was the first season without QB Peyton Manning, and Trevor Siemian was named the starter. The team finished with a 9-7 win-loss record but did not make the Playoffs. Following the season, Head Coach Gary Kubiak announced his retirement from coaching due to health.

After Kubiak's retirement, Elway hired former Miami Dolphins DC Vance Joseph to be the Broncos' new Head Coach.

In the 2017 offseason, the Broncos re-signed LB Todd Davis, K Brandon McManus, LB Shaq Barrett, WR Bennie Fowler, and C Matt Paradis. They signed RB Jamaal Charles, OG Ron Leary, DT Domata Peko, and QB Brock Osweiler. Among that year's drafted players: OT Garrett Bolles, TE Jake Butt, WR Isaiah McKenzie.

It was the team's first losing season, finishing last in the AFC West with a 5-11 win-loss record. Locking the No. 5 Overall Pick in the Draft (Lowest since 2011).

In 2018, they re-signed LB Todd Davis, LB Shaq Barrett, DL Shelby Harris, C Matt Paradis, and OL Billy Turner. They signed CB Tramaine Brock, QB Case Keenum, and P Marquette King. Among the drafted players: DE Bradley Chubb, WR Courtland Sutton, and LB Josey Jewell. Signed Undrafted Free Agent RB Phillip Lindsay

Another losing season ensued. The team finished with a 6-10 win-loss record, missing the Playoffs for back-to-back seasons. Following the season, Elway fired HC Vance Joseph. After firing Vance Joseph, Elway hired Vic Fangio to be the team's new Head Coach.

In 2019, the Broncos re-signed TE Jeff Heuerman, DL Shelby Harris, and WR Tim Patrick. They added FB/TE Andrew Beck, LB Jeremiah Attaochu, QB Brandon Allen, CB Bryce Callahan, S Kareem Jackson, OT Ju'Wuan James, and DL DeShawn Williams. They traded for QB Joe Flacco and CB Duke Dawson. Among the drafted players: TE Noah Fant, OG Dalton Risner, QB Drew Lock, and DL Dre'Mont Jones. They added OT Calvin Anderson, OT Quinn Bailey, LB Malik Reed, QB Brett Rypien as undrafted free agents or waiver pickups that year.

In 2019, the Broncos had a 7-9 win-loss record, missing the Playoffs again, but finished second in the AFC West.

In 2020, the Broncos re-signed LB Jeremiah Attaochu, DL Shelby Harris, CB De'Vante Bausby, S Justin Simmons, WR Tim Patrick, and DL Mike Purcell. They signed QB Blake Bortles, LB Anthony Chickillo, OT Demar Dotson, OG Graham Glasgow, RB Melvin Gordon, P Sam Martin, and DL DeShawn Williams. Among the drafted players: WR Jerry Jeudy, WR KJ Hamler, CB Michael Ojemudia, TE Albert Okwuegbunam, DL McTelvin Agim, and Netane Muti. Signed Undrafted Free Agents CB Essang Bassey, and WR/QB Kendall Hinton.

The Broncos finished last in the AFC West with a 5-11 win-loss record, missing the Playoffs for the 5th consecutive season, and locking a Top 10 Draft Pick.

Following the 2020 Season, Fangio was fired, and GM John Elway stepped down from the role. He stayed with the team for two more years.

Let's recap. During John Elway's years as the GM, he hired four Head Coaches: John Fox, Gary Kubiak, Vance Joseph, and Vic Fangio, signed key players including QB Peyton Manning, DE DeMarcus Ware, WR Wes Welker, CB Aqib Talib, and S TJ Ward. He drafted important players including LB Von Miller, S Justin Simmons, TE Noah Fant, OT Garrett Bolles, DL Derek Wolfe, OG Dalton Risner, WR Jerry Jeudy, WR Courtland Sutton, DL Dre'Mont Jones, DE Bradley Chubb, CB Bradley Roby, S Kayvon Webster, among others.

The results were mixed, almost split in half completely as good and bad (in terms of what we saw on the field) but there is no denying Elway's impact on the franchise, especially early on in his time as GM.