John Elway arrived in training camp sporting a light blue shirt, shorts, loafers and all the comfort and relaxation of a man who had just received the security of a 5-year contract.
Which he did. Elway is rich. Come to think of it he always has been. He’s just richer.
He is just not ownership rich. Was an ownership stake included in the five-year extension Elway received this week?
“No,’’ Elway said in a sit-down interview with 9NEWS.
“This is what came out of this deal with John: He was fairly and justly and rightly rewarded for his service to this team over the years and moving forward,’’ Broncos president Joe Ellis said in his interview with 9News. “There are different components to it and I’m not going to get into any of that. That’s private between John and ourselves but I’m just pleased we were able to come to the agreement.
“It’s great for the Broncos, it’s great for our fans. And I think it’s good for John, too. It’s good John can stay on with us and be the lead contributor on the football side of the organization.’’
Elway did become the league’s highest-paid general manager. He also received a new title: President of football operations/general manager. He had been executive vice president of football operations/general manager. Either way, Elway’s in charge.
Negotiations took a while, perhaps a little longer than expected, until an agreement was reached Monday, or the first day he and the Broncos’ coaches returned to work.
“Really, this was kind of the target date the whole time to get it done,’’ he said. “I was on vacation. It was just a matter of getting everybody together, get on the same page and get all the numbers worked out. I know people thought there was a lot more but that’s really what it was.’’
Was part of the hang-up the fact Elway was asking for a part of the team, but it couldn’t be worked out because of the complications involved with the team controlled by the Pat Bowlen trust?
“I don’t want to get into the context of the contract,’’ Elway said. “I think there a lot of things that go on legally with everything that the Broncos are set up with and how they’re set up with the trust and all that. I don’t really want to get into that. But that would not have been an issue, no.’’
Would Elway one day like to become owner of the Broncos?
“We’ll see what happens,’’ he said. “I’m glad I’ve got a job here and I’m happy doing what I’m doing so we’ll see as time goes on. It’s always been brought up but these teams keep skyrocketing in value … but I’m happy to be here and doing my job.’’
Training camp starts Thursday with the first practice. Task one for Elway: Helping his new head coach Vance Joseph pick a quarterback. Trevor Siemian is experienced, poised and accurate, but the competition is open in part because he didn’t lead the Broncos to the playoffs last season. Paxton Lynch is big, strong, athletic, but inexperienced and his accuracy has been inconsistent.
Waiting to fully evaluate the quarterbacks in training camp and the preseason is necessary, Elway said, because unlike the offseason, the element of a live pass rush becomes a factor.
“You go through OTAs, go through skelly (skeleton drills) and team with no pads on,’’ Elway said. “You go through OTAs, go through skelly (skeleton drills) and team with no pads on. And so with quarterbacks not worried about getting hit, I mean that’s one thing.
“But now we get into the preseason and get into preseason games – obviously like you said, they’re different. Athletically, they’re very different. But it’s going to come down to production and hopefully one stands out and make the decision easier.
“Other than that, I think what we’re going to have to do, and Vance is going to have to do is project which is the best one. …
“I know it’s getting a lot of talk but not only at the quarterback position we’ve got to get better at a lot of other positions. I think we’ve made some strides and had a good offseason there so looking forward to getting these guys in pads and seeing what we have.’’