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Report: John Elway & Peyton Manning Could be Involved with Broncos After New Ownership Succeeds

Elway vs. Manning?

They’re the two biggest names in the Mile High City that brought a total of three Lombardi Trophies to the diehard fans of Broncos Country. Each quarterback has his name etched into numerous NFL records and both men have been immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

These Denver Broncos icons also share a sacred bond in the team's Ring of Fame, they live and operate businesses in Denver, and are universally recognized as two of the best players of all-time.

So, when will John Elway and Peyton Manning join the ownership race for the Broncos?

“Only after the controlling owner becomes known would the Broncos’ new owner or owners consider bringing in Broncos Hall of Fame quarterbacks John Elway and Peyton Manning,” wrote 9NEWS' Mike Klis on Monday. “Elway told 9News he would like to be involved in the Broncos’ new ownership group in an advisory or consultant capacity. Multiple potential Broncos buyers have reached out to Manning to gauge his interest, but he has yet to commit to any one group.”

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The Pat Bowlen Trust officially announced the future sale of the team on February 1 as a result of late owner Pat Bowlen succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease in 2019. Bowlen’s brother, John, reportedly owns a 22% minority interest in the Broncos, in addition to Pat’s children, who own 11.14%. The Trust believes an auction sale of the Broncos is in the best interest of Bowlen’s beneficiaries.

After winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998, Elway retired as a player and became co-owner and CEO of the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush where he won a championship in 2005. From there, Elway was hired by Bowlen as the V.P. of football operations in 2011, and he soon after became general manager, and later, president on the football side.

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Elway stepped down as the Broncos' GM at the end of the 2020 campaign and set about the process of hiring the right long-term replacement. That turned out to be George Paton. Elway has since stayed on as a consultant for Paton. 

As the top football executive in Denver from 2011-20, Elway landed the biggest free-agent fish in the history of the NFL in 2012, bringing Manning to Denver after 14 years in Indianapolis. From there, the Manning-led Broncos won four division titles, two conference championships, appeared in two Super Bowls, and won Super Bowl 50.

Since Manning’s retirement following Super Bowl 50, he can frequently be seen on a variety of platforms including ESPN, commercials, and golf tournaments. In 2018, billionaire businessman Ben Navarro reached out to Manning to join his ownership group bid to bid on the Carolina Panthers, although the group was outbid by David Tepper’s $2.2 billion offer. 

Manning has had a variety of job offers that include networks wanting him to commentate NFL games in the booth but has stayed patient waiting for the right opportunity to get back into the league on his terms. While the debate over which QB reins supreme in league history, fans could very well see Elway and Manning square off against each other for the privilege of being involved with new ownership. 

Follow Luke on Twitter @LukePattersonLP.

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