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John Elway’s role with Broncos officially ends

Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine how much they believe Sean Payton will hold onto Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton and discuss how Russell Wilson factors into the decision.

John Elway spent more than a decade with the Broncos as a player. It ended.

He then spent more than a decade with the Broncos as an executive. That has ended, too.

Via Chris Tomasson of the Denver Gazette, Elway no longer has any contractual role with the team.

The Broncos confirmed to Tomasson that Elway’s contract expired at the start of the new league year in March. Most recently, he was an outside consultant to G.M. George Paton.

Elway, who played from 1983 through 1998, returned in 2011, as the person in charge of the football operations under the three-person trust that managed the franchise after Pat Bowlen stepped aside for health issues. The move raised eyebrows, given that Elway had no experience in the management of a football team.

Elway proved himself quickly, adding pass-rusher Von Miller and tight end Julius Thomas in Elway’s first draft. He also signed cornerback Chris Harris Jr. as an undrafted free agent.

The key acquisition came a year later, when Elway lured quarterback Peyton Manning to town. Manning’s presence sparked a pair of Super Bowl appearances and a walk-off Super Bowl win, similar to Elway, who exited with two in a row.

After Manning retired, the Broncos regressed. They haven’t been back to the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50, the longest drought for any Super Bowl champion.

Elway basically stepped aside for Paton after the 2020 season, even though Elway carried the title of president of football operations into 2021.

Last year, the Walton-Penner group bought the team from Bowlen’s estate, after the Bowlen heirs were unable to agree on which of them would take control of the franchise.