On this day in Broncos history: Denver trades for QB John Elway in 1983
“[Denver] was always a team I wanted to play for.”
A 👀 back at when @johnelway became a Bronco ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ePjOKeFuLs
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) May 2, 2023
The Denver Broncos made the most important move in franchise history on May 2, 1983, when they finalized a trade with the Baltimore Colts to acquire quarterback John Elway.
Before the draft, Elway had informed the Colts he would not play for them, but the team picked him anyway after failing to trade the No. 1 overall pick before going on the clock. A few days later, they reached an agreement with the Broncos on a trade that sent Elway to Denver.
“If it was football with the Colts or baseball with the Yankees, I would have picked baseball,” Elway said during a 1983 interview.
The Broncos traded offensive tackle Chris Hinton (their first-round pick in 1983), quarterback Mark Herrmann and a 1984 first-round pick (guard Ron Solt) in exchange for Elway. The rest is history.
The Colts went 13 years before winning a playoff game. Denver went on to reach five Super Bowls with Elway as quarterback, winning back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998 before Elway retired.
Elway later returned to the Broncos as an executive in 2011 and he helped the team win a third Super Bowl in 2015. Elway is the most important figure in franchise history, and he was acquired on this day 40 years ago.
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