The most prolific player to ever wear a Denver Broncos jersey officially enters a new era with the beloved franchise.

John Elway has an almost 40-year relationship with the team. He spent 16 seasons as the team’s quarterback from 1983 to 1999. In 2011 he began his decade-long tenure as the general manager, including two Super Bowl appearances and one championship.

Elway extended his contract in 2017, which made him the NFL’s highest-paid GM. Unfortunately, he was never able to mirror the success he had with Peyton Manning and spent the next five seasons without a playoff birth. 

He particularly struggled to find the team’s replacement for Manning, and a stable head coach after Gary Kubiak stepped down. 

He shocked Broncos Country when he announced that he was stepping down as general manager. Elway had a direct hand in choosing his successor, George Paton.  

The hire drew high praise among the league. After Paton’s first season, he received acclaim, particularly in his 2021 draft class and the hiring of new head coach, Nathaniel Hackett.

However, he didn’t leave the team entirely and continued his role as president of football operations. 

His contract officially expired after the 2021 season. Elway’s not going anywhere, though, as he will be taking on a new role as an outside consultant.

In this position, he will continue to be an advisor to Paton. Paton will remain in complete control of roster decisions.

What has yet to be decided is how Elway might be involved in the team’s new ownership structure. 

As for Elway’s desire to become involved in the team’s new ownership structure, that won’t be determined until after the financial advisors working on the sale of the Broncos settle on a controlling owner.

The kin of late owner Pat Bowlen, who bought the team in 1984, could not decide who would assume sole ownership after his death. Denver was given the green light to be sold in early January. A sale is imminent.

In a crazy turn of events, it’s been reported that Elway will be facing off against fellow Broncos legend Peyton Manning. While neither has the net worth to be sole owners, both guys are a part of two different prospective ownership groups planning to bid for the team.

Elway previously missed out on an opportunity to own a 10% stake in the team when Bowlen offered it for $15 million in 1998. That would go on to be an over $444 million mistake.

If Elway is able to successfully become a minority of the Broncos, it remains to be unseen how that will affect his new position.