John El­way agrees to 5-year con­tract with Den­ver Bron­cos

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

ENGLEWOOD: One lead­er­ship saga down, an­other one con­tin­ues for the Den­ver Bron­cos. John El­way agreed to a new five-year con­tract on Mon­day, end­ing a long-run­ning story line that had fans won­der­ing if their Hall of Fame QB-turned-GM might leave the fran­chise he’s led to three Su­per Bowl ti­tles.

El­way had in­sisted ever since the club ap­proached him last Oc­to­ber about a new deal that he wasn’t go­ing any­where. Yet, as months passed with­out an agree­ment, the is­sue came to dom­i­nate dis­cus­sions about the Bron­cos along with their quar­ter­back puz­zle. Their on-field leader will be de­ter­mined over the next few weeks as Trevor Siemian and Pax­ton Lynch re­sume their much-hyped QB com­pe­ti­tion. The Bron­cos be­gin their sev­enth train­ing camp un­der El­way’s front of­fice lead­er­ship on Thurs­day.

“Dur­ing these last six sea­sons, John’s clearly es­tab­lished him­self as one of the best gen­eral man­agers in all of sports. He’s demon­strated im­pres­sive foot­ball in­stincts, a strong busi­ness acu­men and a con­sis­tent abil­ity to build com­pet­i­tive teams,” team Pres­i­dent Joe El­lis said in a state­ment.

“There’s no doubt John means a great deal to the Bron­cos, our fans and the en­tire com­mu­nity. It was im­por­tant for us to reach this long-term agree­ment, and we’re all ex­cited to now turn our full at­ten­tion to­ward the 2017 sea­son.” El­way was set to en­ter the fi­nal year of his con­tract as gen­eral man­ager and ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball op­er­a­tions. The sides tore up the fi­nal year of his old con­tract and added four more sea­sons, through 2021. “Well de­served!!!,” tweeted Bron­cos All-Pro cor­ner­back Aqib Talib . “#Leg­end on the field and in the of­fice!!!”

In his 22 sea­sons with the fran­chise, in­clud­ing 16 as a player, the Bron­cos have fewer los­ing sea­sons (two) than Lom­bardi Tro­phies (three). El­way led Den­ver to Su­per Bowl wins af­ter the 1997 and ‘98 sea­sons to cap his Hall of Fame play­ing ca­reer. He re­turned to his beloved Bron­cos in 2011, and from the front of­fice has led them to a 77-33 record with five play­off ap­pear­ances and a win over Carolina in Su­per Bowl 50. Only New Eng­land (86-26) is bet­ter over that span.

Dur­ing his six sea­sons as an ex­ec­u­tive, El­way is the only GM in the league who has ac­quired fu­ture Pro Bowl play­ers through the draft, street free agency, un­re­stricted free agency and col­lege free agency. El­lis has been run­ning the fran­chise for the last few years with owner Pat Bowlen bat­tling Alzheimer’s.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the trust and con­fi­dence that Joe has shown in me,” El­way said in a state­ment. “Pat Bowlen has al­ways put out­stand­ing lead­er­ship in place, and I’m grate­ful for the sup­port Joe gives us to com­pete for cham­pi­onships each and ev­ery year. This is a spe­cial place, and the Bron­cos are home to me. While there’s still a lot of work to be done, I’m ex­cited about the fu­ture of this team and this or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

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