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Ball back in John Elway's court following rare misstep

Ken Pomponio Avatar
March 12, 2016


“In Elway We Trust” isn’t some trending Twitter topic that’s around for a few hours and then is completely forgotten the minute the next Broncos player becomes an ex-Broncos player.

It’s a well-deserved mantra – honed and crafted through a series of moves and decisions over the last five years – which culminated in the franchise’s third Lombardi Trophy. And, must Broncos Country need reminded, that was won only 34 days ago.

But this isn’t to say the Orange & Blue’s general manager is perfect. That adjective simply doesn’t exist in the NFL lexicon outside of the 1972 Dolphins.

John Elway and the Broncos’ front office aren’t immune to the occasional flubs, miscalculations and oversights – and we only need to harken back a few years to the 2013 second-round draft pick used on Montee Ball or the fax-machine faux pas that same offseason which resulted in the departure of Elvis Dumervil.

The Broncos, though, obviously were able to overcome those miscues, advancing to the Super Bowl the very next season and then it winning it all only two years after that.

It’s early to be certain, but it’s looking very much like Elway and Co. have placed another hurdle in their own path by failing to retain free-agent Brock Osweiler.

And whether it was not realizing that Osweiler was that upset over his Week 17 benching and the decision to go with Peyton Manning in the playoffs, a reluctance to begin serious contract negotiations with Osweiler before Manning decided on his own future or a simple misjudgement of the out-of-control free-agent quarterback market, it appears the Orange & Blue had put the overwhelming majority of their eggs in the re-signing Brock basket and had it snatched away by the QB-needy Houston Texans.

And, as we’ve seen over the ensuing four days, a Plan B – as in basket – didn’t really exist.

Taking care of Super Bowl MVP Von Miller understandably was at the top of the Broncos’ free-agency to-do list, and even with Manning’s scheduled $19 million 2016 salary coming off the books, nearly every reasonable denizen of Broncos Country was resigned to losing either Malik Jackson or Osweiler.

Elway extended offers to both last month, but when it quickly became clear that Jackson was intent on testing the market and would immediately command an exorbitant price – he wound up landing more guaranteed money from the Jaguars ($42 million) than former Denver defensive line mate Derek Wolfe is scheduled to receive total ($36.7 mil) in his entire four-year extension signed in January – the full focus (and the onus) quickly shifted to securing Osweiler.

Or at least it should’ve.

Now both are gone – as are Danny Trevathan and (likely) C.J. Anderson in the meantime – and Elway, much like his early playing days, is in scramble and comeback mode.

Will he be able to rescue the Broncos yet again?

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