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Rob Walton vows to make Broncos “the best team to cheer for, play for and work for”

As quarterback salaries continue to climb, Mike Florio and Chris Simms wonder if the Broncos' new owners will give Russell Wilson a rich contract extension.

Owners approved the sale of the Broncos Tuesday. It meant good-bye to the Pat Bowlen trust and hello to the Walton-Penner family ownership group.

Both groups released statements through the team after the unanimous vote approving the sale.

Rob Walton’s statement reads: “We are grateful for the support and trust of the National Football League and the 31 other teams with today’s vote. We couldn’t be more excited to join the Denver Broncos.

“It’s a responsibility and privilege to serve as stewards of such an iconic franchise. We have tremendous respect for what Pat Bowlen has meant to the Broncos and look forward to building on this organization’s championship legacy.

“While we’re deeply committed to fielding a great team to win Super Bowls, our family and extraordinary partners are also dedicated to our off-the-field responsibilities to Broncos Country and the Rocky Mountain region.

“Operating with integrity and accountability, we aim to draw on our individual strengths and those of the players, coaches and staff who have shaped the Broncos’ storied history. And to that end, we want to thank (CEO) Joe Ellis for his guidance throughout this process and his willingness to serve as an advisor to ownership for this season.

“Across the entire organization, we will all continue to listen and learn.

“Most importantly, we will strive to make the Denver Broncos the best team to cheer for, play for and work for in all of sports. Go Broncos!”

Ellis congratulated Walton and his group on taking the reins of the team and announced he has accepted Waltons’ request to remain as an advisor this season: “As I step down as President & CEO, it has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to be part of the Denver Broncos for 27 seasons. I am forever thankful to our dedicated staff, the players and coaches for making this franchise what it has become today -- one of the best organizations in all of sports.

“There are no words to express the gratitude I have toward Pat Bowlen for his trust, friendship and the responsibility to serve the Broncos and this community for nearly three decades. Pat’s legacy of winning, doing things the right way and giving back is unmatched. He is a Pro Football Hall of Famer in every sense for what he has meant to this organization and the National Football League.

“To Broncos Country: From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Your passion and loyalty, especially through the challenges we’ve faced over the last few years, are what make the Broncos so special. You are truly the best fans in the NFL and deserve many, many more Super Bowls.

“Most of all, I want to thank my wife Ann, daughter Catherine, and sons Si and Zander for their unwavering (mostly!) support through the ups and downs, wins and losses, and unforgettable moments during this incredible ride.

“Looking ahead, I am confident the Walton-Penner family ownership group will add to the Broncos’ championship tradition on and off the field while putting their own stamp on this great organization. I was asked by them to serve as an advisor to ownership for this season, and I’ve accepted their request to help in the transition however possible.

“The Broncos are in great hands with Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner, Greg Penner, Mellody Hobson, Condoleezza Rice and Sir Lewis Hamilton along with the many outstanding people in our organization. I wish them much success, happiness and fun as they begin this journey. Go Broncos!”