John Elway can do no wrong in the Mile High City, and he’s earned that, but could this be the first year his stubbornness burns the Broncos?

“Teflon John,” as Mile High Sports President James Merilatt calls him, or “The Duke,” as Broncos Country calls him, is inching towards the fire. But “In Elway we trust,” right?

Maybe, and here’s why.

Building two entirely different Super Bowl teams in the span of three years is something that will go down in general manager history! In 2013, he built an offensive juggernaut, only to see David (Russell Wilson) knock down Goliath (Peyton Manning) in one excruciating, 60-minute battle.

So Elway got to work, and over the next two seasons he created a defense that would rival the all-time greats — a defense their opponents would still feel well into the next week. He built a team that would shut down the best offensive line in the league and turn the league’s MVP into a scared toddler. They are the team that killed the Dab!

And because of that, along with the two Lombardi Trophy’s Elway hoisted himself, he deserves our respect and trust. The question, though, is for how long?

But do you get my point? What Elway did in three years is amazing, sensational and historic. ELWAY HAS BEEN OUTSTANDING AS THE GM AND VP OF FOOTBALL OPS! (I feel like I have to yell that to save the hate tweets … Long awkward pause where you know a “but” is coming.)

BUT his stubbornness when it comes to retaining his own team’s free agents might finally have hurt him this time.

Not retaining Brock Osweiler for what he ended up signing for was the right move. I understand that it’s the market value in today’s NFL, but if Elway had his number and stuck to it, then I commend him. No matter what Matt Flynn did in the past, a seven-game sample size simply isn’t worth all that money when the league’s most dominant defensive player is waiting on his payday.

Losing C.J. Anderson, however, will fall all on the shoulders of Mr. Elway. I’ve been critical of Anderson in the past, but it’s no secret that he carried this team offensively down the stretch.

As most of you know by now, our old friend Adam Gase and the Miami Dolphins offered C.J. a four-year, $18 million dollar deal on Thursday, giving the Broncos five days to match. Again, with Von’s deal yet to be done, and now with no starting quarterback to speak of, the money just isn’t there to match.

Anderson may not be a back that can carry an entire offense, but he’s a good piece on a team that wants to play great defense and manage the game on the ground. More importantly, if he does leave, than who’s his replacement?

And while the Broncos were never going to pay Malik Jackson the kind of money he ended up getting from Jacksonville, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have worked out a more team-friendly deal. Jackson said as much:

“They could have gotten me done, they could have got Danny done, they could have got Brock done for less to nothing and now we’ve all branched out … I don’t know what they’re doing,” Jackson told the Denver Post.

To be fair to Elway, he knows it’ll take a lot of money to sign Von Miller long term, so he has to keep that in mind. Still, if all those guys truly wanted to remain in Denver, only choosing to leave after Elway refused to come to the table, then who’s really to blame?

The cuts Elway made — Louis Vasquez, Owen Daniels and Aaron Brewer — were somewhat understandable. The bad offensive line needs a makeover, and Vasquez was just the first to go. The team did add Donald Stephenson, a player whom will come in and compete for a starting job.

Daniels is old and didn’t really contribute until Vernon Davis came to town as a wake up call. Aaron Brewer was perfect as a long snapper in his Broncos career and was cheap; there has to be more to the story, but if John thinks he can be replaced, he shall be replaced — remember this article, though, if there’s a bad snap next season.

And with all that said, no team has ever won a Super Bowl in March. Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that Elway hasn’t increased the Broncos’ odds of repeating as World Champions.