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Elway says Ellis 'has been pillar' for Broncos; Cravens attends grievance against Washington

John Elway doesn't have concerns about the Broncos stability atop the Broncos organization following Bill Bowlen's lawsuit against the Broncos' trustees in support of niece Beth Bowlen.
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

ENGLEWOOD – Last week’s tremor at the top of the Broncos’ organizational ladder didn’t shake John Elway.

Bill Bowlen, in supports of his niece Beth Bowlen Wallace, filed a lawsuit against the three trustees of his brother Pat Bowlen’s trust. The three trustees are Joe Ellis, who is also the Broncos’ chief executive officer, team general counsel Rich Slivka and attorney Mary Kelly.

The suit asks that the trustees be removed from control of the Pat Bowlen Trust and, in turn, the Denver Broncos.

Doesn’t Elway, the franchise icon who is also its general manager in charge of football operations, have concerns about the stability atop the Broncos’ organization?

“No, I don’t,’’ he said. “I will say this, in my opinion and having worked with Joe, he’s been that pillar for us. That’s still above our level and we still have to concentrate on doing the best we can as far as trying to get back on track and win some football games.

“We look at that as it will handle itself. But I just know in the long run that eventually, no matter what happens, I think we’re still going to be fine. Whatever way that goes, I think that the franchise is in good shape.”

The trustees have seemingly been grooming Brittany Bowlen, Beth’s half-sister, to replace Pat Bowlen as the Broncos’ controlling owner. At a charity event she co-chaired nearly 10 days ago, Brittany Bowlen told 9News: "Right now there is an owner. That's really important for me, my father is the owner. Unfortunately, he cannot be there for the day-to-day operations of the team, but I really think he's put an incredible team in place. I do have ambitions and goals to one day be the controlling owner of the Denver Broncos."

Five days later, Bill Bowlen filed suit in an Arapahoe County District Court. Ellis watched the Broncos play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Arrowhead Stadium press box. He politely declined overtures from reporters seeking comment about the lawsuit, implying that the Trust’s statement from May 31 continues to hold. That statement said the trust is in compliance with NFL ownership rules and strongly refuted Beth Bowlen Wallace's claim she has met the criteria to become the Broncos' controlling owner.

"As trustees honoring the clear wishes of Pat, we have thoroughly evaluated whether Beth is capable of succeeding her father as controlling owner,'' the trust statement said. "We have determined that she is not capable or qualified at this time.”

Cravens seeks salary payback from Washington

Broncos safety Su'a Cravens was in Washington, D.C., during the team's off-day Tuesday attending his $651,408 grievance against his former team, the Washington Redskins.

Cravens' Denver-based agent Peter Schaffer argued Cravens should have been placed on injured reserve, not the "left squad" list last year. Thus, the $651,408. Cravens and Schaffer flew back to Denver on Tuesday and the safety will practice Wednesday with plans on playing his first game for the Broncos this Sunday against Houston.

Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports
Su'a Cravens