We all hear about quarterbacks' great leadership and knowledge of the game, but surprisingly few have successfully run a NFL team.
At very least, nobody in the history of the game can match John Elway's combination of on-field success at quarterback and a tremendous front-office career. Elway's resume as a team builder is far from complete, but he'll have more time to add to it.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported that the Broncos ripped up the final year of his deal and gave him a four-year contract that will run through 2017. He adds the title of general manager to the existing job of executive vice president of football operations, even though he has been the team's GM for the last few years, just not in name.
And what success he has had. Under Elway's watch, the Broncos have won three division titles in a row, one with Tim Tebow at quarterback and two with Peyton Manning. All of Elway's successful moves – and there have been many, in free agency and the draft – don't matter nearly as much as the first line of his GM accomplishments: "Lured Peyton Manning to Denver." Elway landed one of the biggest free agents in NFL history and successfully moved from the Tebow-led team to one of the best offenses in NFL history over the last two years. Denver made the Super Bowl this year.
When Elway was hired, it was viewed as a public-relations move. The team was trying to move on from the disastrous Josh McDaniels era, and what better way to do that than add the most popular athlete (person?) in Colorado history? Nobody realized at the time that Elway would be as involved in building the roster as he has been, and nobody knew if he could do it as well as he has.
Elway revitalized the franchise. It wasn't the first time he had done that, it was just in a different role this time. It appears he's enjoying the second phase of his football career, considering he signed on to do it for at least a few more years.
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