John Elway has done it time and time again. He is willing to exercise patience rather than push when in negotiations, and it goes back to is first days as a player in the league.
The Denver Broncos know full well that their franchise hero, the face of their organization, can and will plod his way through a contract negotiation.
In 1983, Elway was taken with the first pick in the NFL draft by the then Baltimore Colts. But it was clear from the beginning he and his dad, Jack Elway, didn’t want to play for Baltimore.
The back-and-forth went on for days, before theDenver Broncos sending the right deal to Baltimore for John Elway.
The patience was worth it then for the Denver Broncos and John Elway, and it’s paramount to both sides now. But Elway holds all the cards.
Making the Smart Moves
Elway was shrewd in his negotiations to bring in Peyton Manning, and tactical in getting rid of popular Tim Tebow. Who else could make that move look so smooth?
Bringing in Manning was a no brainer, and led to two Super Bowl appearances and one title.
Now, Denver and John Elway are in the most important negotiation of all: Elway’s contract.
“I look forward to being here with the Broncos for a long time,” he said in May to reporters.
The quote and his longtime history in Denver alleviated fans’ fears about a separation. But here we are on July 14 and still no contract.
In fact Elway has been mostly silent on social media since Father’s Day.
Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there! pic.twitter.com/f8kOYBVS3L
— John Elway (@johnelway) June 18, 2017
Way back in January, Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis said he was confident they would get a contract extension done.
Elway took over football operations in 2011, the Broncos have five playoff berths, five division titles, and of course the two Super Bowl appearances and one title, Super Bowl 50.
Peyton Manning’s Departure
But in 2016, the shine came off the resume just a little as the Broncos sputtered to an 9-7 finish, and in third place behind the Chiefs and Raiders.
John Elway took a hit publicly by not properly replacing Peyton Manning, although sidestepping a Brock Osweiler contract offer mistake. Osweiller turned down the Broncos to play for the Houston Texans. Although Elway offered Osweiler a contract, the resulting turndown went well publically for the Hall of Fame quarterback.
Last year’s Trevor Siemian experiment went awry, and now the pressure is again on Elway and the Broncos to find the air-apparent to Manning. Paxton Lynch is expected to compete with Siemian for the job in camp.
But Elway’s contract, reportedly may stick around a potential share of the team’s ownership.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio also reported that any deal involving a share of ownership would have to be approved by the league.
Florio also went on to say “Joe Ellis oversees the family trust along with team counsel Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly. They will handle any transition to Bowlen’s seven children, who will each have an equal stake in the team.”
The only thing important to Broncos fans though, is whether John Elway is attached to Denver for the long term.