Although perhaps some in Broncos Country might wish it otherwise, John Elway will return as President of Football Operations/General Manager of the Denver Broncos. 9NEWS' Mike Klis cited sources, confirming that Elway will return for his 10th season in the Broncos' front office.
Although the Broncos finished 7-9, missing the postseason for the fourth straight year, all indications are that Elway's maneuverings have this team trending in the right direction. Denver might have started off the 2019 season 0-4, but under first-year head coach Vic Fangio, the Broncos stormed back to win seven of their last 12 games.
It's also worth noting that Elway seems to have solved the Broncos' quarterback problem. Elway drafted Drew Lock in the second round this past spring, and the former Missouri standout would go on a record-setting run as the team's starter down the stretch.
The Broncos went 4-1 with Lock at the helm, which tied him with Elway for the most wins for a rookie QB in Broncos history. If the early returns are any indication, Lock has a very bright future in the NFL, which portends well for Denver.
Elway made the fateful decision to fire Vance Joseph after just two seasons as Denver's head coach after the Broncos won just 11 combined games over that stretch. The GM's decision to hire Fangio last January seems to have paid dividends, as the first-year head coach overcame a mountain of obstacles to improve the Broncos by one win over last season's finish.
We could talk about how Elway botched the Joseph hire, instead of securing Kyle Shanahan. Or the three-year stretch of poor draft classes. But the biggest problem that has vexed Elway, leading to the Broncos' post-Super Bowl 50, was the lack of a bonafide franchise quarterback.
In the NFL, teams who lack that foundational piece are dead in the water and all the Von Millers in the world can't change that. Elway seems to have finally found his guy under center and it shouldn't take long for Lock's impact to come out in the wash.
Elway will return for his 10th year as a front-office czar but he's got two more years left on his contract. That's how much time he has to build the nest around Lock and set this team up for success both in the interim and long-term.
Elway is expected to hold his end-of-season joint-presser with Fangio on Monday afternoon. It'll be interesting to hear Elway reflect on the 2019 season and what he believes the future holds for this team.