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As Elway prepares to join Broncos, other teams nod and smile

John Elway

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2010, file photo, retired Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway prepares to throw a football to Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky the Mountain Lion in the third quarter of the Nuggets’ 127-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in an NBA basketball game in Denver. Elway, who retired in 1999 after winning his second straight Super Bowl in Denver, is planning to attend some of the Broncos’ training camp practices this summer and has agreed to help market the team’s game in London in September. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski,File)


The worst-kept secret in NFL circles is that Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will be returning to the Broncos. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that it will happen by the end of the season.

Issues to be resolved remain title, salary, and responsibilities. (In other words, “everything.”) Schefter reports that Elway will have a “direct role” in the hiring of the team’s next head coach. Also, Schefter says that G.M. Brian Xanders won’t be retained in that role, but that he could remain in some other capacity.

Meanwhile, a buzz is emerging in league circles regarding the possibility that Elway will waltz into the Broncos front office, Matt Millen-style, and potentially run a team without the experience or, possibly, the skill to do so.

“Please let the Elway rumor be true!” an executive with another AFC team told us via text message earlier this week.

Elway’s potential impact will depend on his responsibilities -- and on whether he’s willing to acknowledge the limits of his abilities and to designate accordingly to folks who know what needs to be done.