At the time, it looked like it. But then you thought about it, and it never made sense that John Elway would take a high-up position with the Broncos and serve as nothing more than a figurehead.
Great players didn’t become great by going half-speed. When he returned to the Broncos as an executive, Elway didn’t need the title, or the money, or another link to the franchise.
So it makes sense that Elway, after three years of highly successful work as a Broncos decision-maker, is in it for the long haul. His new contract — reported by Mike Klis — ties him to the team through 2017.
The Broncos also added the title of general manager to Elway’s placard.
Back in 2011 when Elway returned to the Broncos, I wondered, as a lot of us probably did, if his return was simply for aesthetic purposes. Check it out: here’s the franchise’s greatest player rejoining the franchise, bridging eras and photo opportunities together.
Quite clearly, that’s not how Elway rolls. He returned to win, and the Broncos have won. This was a dramatic overhaul of the Broncos’ roster — of the 22 players who started for the Broncos in the 2011 regular-season finale, only four started in the AFC championship game in January.
Now, if Elway can talk Peyton Manning into another four seasons, their future would be in tremendous shape.