The rumor of former general manager and still-current football ops boss John Elway meddling in the affairs of his successor, George Paton, has proven to be just that — a rumor.
Which NFL Network's James Palmer recently put to bed in reporting on the Denver Broncos' release of cornerback A.J. Bouye, a significant transaction that The Duke was ignorant to.
"My understanding is Elway didn't even know Bouye was getting cut, George Paton did that entirely on his own," Palmer said last week on the DNVR Broncos podcast. "George is making his own decisions."
Although Bouye was widely considered a release candidate due to his bloated salary and six-game 2020 NFL suspension, Paton wasted no time trimming this piece of fat from the roster. On Feb. 10 — 28 days after he took office — the ex-Vikings exec officially cut Bouye, freeing $13 million in salary-cap space.
To date, Paton has chopped seven players from the 90-man offseason squad: Bouye, defensive linemen Kyle Peko and Joel Heath, tight end Jordan Leggett, wide receiver Fred Brown, safety Alijah Holder, and offensive tackle Darrin Paulo.
Just as Elway said he would.
Or, in fact, wouldn't.
“I’m going to add my input when it has a huge impact on something like you’re talking about, and when you have something that is that big of an impact on your organization," he said during Paton's Jan. 19 introductory press conference. "Ultimately, it’s going to be George’s decision. I’m going to be there to support him, to give my opinions and give him everything I would look at when I was the GM, and give him everything that would be in my mind in that situation to help him again make that decision and the best decision he possibly can. Once he hears everything, he will still be the one making that decision because that’s his role and that’s his responsibility. I’m here to support him in any way I possibly can and to give him my viewpoints, but it’s going to be his decision.”
To recap: Elway admitted aloud that he expected to be clued in on "huge" organizational transactions. Then Denver cut its CB1 and he, assuming Palmer's report has veracity, was kept completely in pitch-black dark.
This is no longer Elway's baby.
A surrogate now runs the show.
Follow Zack on Twitter @KelbermanNFL
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