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#pounditThursday, June 30, 2022

Articles tagged: John Elway

John Elway thinks NFL Draft should be postponed to help teams

John Elway

There are a number of teams who would prefer to see the NFL Draft postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Denver Broncos general manager John Elway is willing to say so publicly.

Elway thinks the draft, scheduled for April 23-25, should be postponed to benefit teams and give them more time to scout players, though the Broncos are ready to proceed as things stand.

“Really, we feel pretty good about where we are,” Elway told Aric DiLalla of the team’s official website. “We’d rather have it backed up so we can get all our scouts and everybody in, but if it’s limited and we can stay there and they’re not going to move the draft, we’re in good shape. I think that one of the reasons why, with I think the coaches not going to the Combine and them spending the whole week here just on the college side, it’s put us way ahead there because we’ve got the coaches’ rankings already. The scouts are already working on next year a little bit to the 2021 summer manual, so we feel like we’re in pretty good shape. If it moves back, great, we’re ready for that. If it doesn’t move, then we’ll be ready for that too.”

As of now, it’s full speed ahead for the NFL, and they’re aggressively planning a virtual draft to take place as scheduled. That comes despite objections from multiple teams, largely for the same reasons Elway is voicing. Teams can’t visit prospects right now due to travel restrictions, and they’re relying on the work they’ve already done. Most are probably operating the way he is — ready for it to go ahead as scheduled, but hopeful that it doesn’t.

Paxton Lynch says John Elway didn’t give him a fair chance in Denver

Paxton Lynch

The Denver Broncos made Paxton Lynch a first-round pick in 2016. They proceeded to give him four starts in two years before releasing him, and he hasn’t played since.

Lynch, now a backup for the Pittsburgh Steelers, made it quite clear Thursday that he believes Broncos president John Elway did not give him a fair shake to prove himself in Denver.

“I’m sure it was [Elway’s] decision at the end of the day,” Lynch said, via Ed Bouchette of The Athletic. “He told me he didn’t think it was really fair the way the media treated me there. I was like, ‘Yeah, you really haven’t given me an opportunity to show them otherwise.'”

It’s a pretty obvious dig at Elway for not backing him or giving him the opportunity to prove himself more. In terms of regular season play, that may be true — Lynch threw four touchdowns and four interceptions in his four starts, winning just one of them, but it’s hard to make a determination based on that. However, Lynch was terrible during the 2018 preseason and didn’t give Denver any reason to believe he was progressing as a quarterback. That’s what led to his release, and the fact that he hasn’t gotten another chance to play since leaving Denver indicates that Elway’s assessment may have been correct.

It’s hard to blame Lynch, though. Add in the fact that he’s an emotional guy and it’s understandable that his career trajectory leaves him feeling upset.

Broncos’ John Elway: Drew Lock ‘not ready’ yet

Drew Lock

Even if the Denver Broncos wanted to make a quarterback change and move on from veteran Joe Flacco, general manager John Elway says second-round pick, Drew Lock, is not an option. At least not yet.

Lock remains on injured reserve with a broken thumb and while head coach Vic Fangio said he would return to practice this week, Elway told Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic that Lock’s return is not currently in the cards and even implied the rookie may not make is back this season.

“I will say this: The most important thing for a young quarterback is not to put him out there before he’s ready,” Elway said. “So that is the most important thing and if he’s not ready, we’re not going to put him out there. That is the key thing. And as you know dealing with quarterbacks, it’s a very tough thing because if you don’t put him in a situation where he has a chance to be successful and he’s not successful, the whole roof will cave in. So we have to make sure that Drew is ready when he does get in there, if he does get in there.

“We’re still in the process of evaluating that. He is not ready to go right now, I will tell you that.”

Fan confidence is quickly waning in Denver as the Broncos rest at 2-5 and are on the heels of trading their best wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders, to the San Francisco 49ers. Flacco has looked far from the Super Bowl champion he once was and there does not appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Lock may not be the answer to all of those problems, but if he’s healthy enough to play, Elway and the Broncos have nothing to lose by trying to find out.

Drew Lock is John Elway’s latest quarterback project

Drew Lock

John Elway’s best move since becoming the Denver Broncos’ team executive in 2011 was signing Peyton Manning as the team’s quarterback. That helped them reach two Super Bowls and win one. After he retired, quarterback has been Elway’s biggest weakness and his total undoing.

Since Peyton Manning, Elway has played Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Case Keenum at quarterback. He used a first-round pick on Lynch, a 7th-round pick on Chad Kelly, and has swung trades for Keenum and his latest starter, Joe Flacco. Maybe Manning’s mediocrity the year they won the Super Bowl convinced him he doesn’t need stellar play at the quarterback spot, because he keeps settling for average-to-below average QBs.

His latest project is Drew Lock.

With the No. 42 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Friday, the Broncos took the Missouri quarterback.

There was some belief before the draft that Elway liked Lock so much he might take him in the first round, but the team wisely selected Noah Fant instead. They were able to get Lock a day later.

We had Lock as our third-best quarterback in the draft, but will he even be better for the team than Flacco? That’s unlikely. Between adding the mediocre Flacco and Lock, Elway seems to be repeating the same issue he’s had the past three years, though at least this crop is somewhat better than the Siemian/Lynch/Keenum group.

Chris Harris, Jr. and John Elway are heading for a showdown

Chris Harris, Jr. has formally requested to be traded if he does not get a new contract, according to Adam Schefter. Harris, Jr., one of the top cornerbacks in the league, has made his wish for a new contract known throughout the offseason, and has so far been rebuffed by Denver Broncos GM John Elway.

Harris, Jr. did not attend the offseason program in early April. In March, Elway said he would address it after getting through the draft. On Tuesday, Elway took time out from meeting with the press to specifically address it even further, and added that just because they would talk, it doesn’t guarantee a deal will get done.

It cannot make Harris, Jr. happy that while he was seeking a new deal, the team went out in free agency and signed Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan to deals at the same position worth $11 million per year and $7 million per year, respectively, putting them roughly in line with Harris, Jr.’s salary even though they are not in the same stratosphere as players.

Those moves seem to be a misstep in managing personalities and people, while not having the time to address Harris, Jr.’s contract demands. The truth is that Harris, Jr. is the second-most valuable player on the roster behind Von Miller. Now, the world knows that he wants out–or according to Mike Klis, wants $15 million per year. From Harris, Jr.’s perspective, this is the best time to put this out, as teams can figure out if they want to make a trade heading into the draft that remains Elway’s only focus at the moment.

Things could come to a head quickly in Denver, and if Denver does not make a trade, expect continued fireworks this offseason, and Harris, Jr. not being happy unless he is clearly paid as the top cornerback on the team.

John Elway admits Broncos must find long-term QB solution

John Elway

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway said what everyone knows — Case Keenum is no long-term answer at quarterback.

Elway admitted to ProFootballTalk’s Peter King that Keenum is “probably a short-term fix” and it is incumbent upon him to find a long-term answer to the Broncos’ quarterback issues and give that quarterback a stable environment to grow and thrive in.

“Obviously, we’ve got to — Case [Keenum] is probably a short-term fix — find the long-term guy for us,” Elway admitted. “When we do find that guy, we’ve got to have the continuity on the offensive side to where we can train him and develop him and get him there. This is our fourth offense in probably three or four years. Quarterbacks need to be developed. You don’t find one ready-made. We got to have a solid system in place for when we do go after whatever guy it may be, a young guy or a trade or whatnot.”

Elway doesn’t say anything about pursuing a quarterback this offseason, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that Keenum didn’t provide the boost Denver was hoping for this season. It was likely a factor in costing Vance Joseph his job. Elway seems to realize that this needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Von Miller’s mom blasts John Elway on Instagram

Von Miller

The mother of Von Miller blasted John Elway on Instagram in response to some comments by the Broncos GM.

Miller had another excellent season for the Broncos. He made second-team All-Pro at two positions, though both he and Elway said the linebacker could play better.

“Von, he had a good year this year,” Elway said. “Can Von play better? Yeah, I think Von can play better. That’s part of the new thing when that comes in with the next coach.”

Miller said the same.

“I hate feeling like I could’ve done more, but that’s definitely the truth,” Miller said.

Elway also said that they could gauge the trade market for Miller.

“I think we’re going to visit all that,” Elway said Monday, via 247 Sports. “I think we have to look all the possibilities and get an evaluation of that.

Miller’s mom did not like the suggestion that her son could play better and might be on the trade block. She ripped into Elway in an Instagram posting that included a screenshot of a story saying “Elway talks possible Von trade.”

Miller said Elway had “no clue on drafting at any position.” She also said “trading Von isn’t the answer but best of luck with that.”

Oh, and where would Miller like to see her son go if traded? She hash-tagged her post with comments about Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

Miller has had some tension with Elway in the past over contract talks. It wouldn’t be surprised if things on that front heated up again.

John Elway, Mike Shanahan reportedly met about Broncos’ coaching job

John Elway

Broncos head coach Vance Joseph remains on the hot seat after his team lost to the Browns over the weekend, and John Elway apparently considered replacing him last offseason with a Denver franchise icon.

According to Woody Paige of the Colorado Spring Gazette, Elway secretly met with former Broncos head coach — and his own former coach — Mike Shanahan after last season. The two discussed the possibility of Shanahan returning to the place where he coached from 1995-2008 and won two Super Bowls, but ultimately the Broncos did not want to go in that direction.

As Ian Rapoport of NFL Media notes, Broncos CEO Joe Ellis told Elway he would need to conduct a genuine coaching search if he fired Joseph and was not open to the idea of bringing Shanahan back.

Elway, of course, decided to give Joseph another shot, but Denver was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday and will probably begin searching after the season. It’s unclear if Shanahan would even be interested in coaching again given what his son Kyle recently said, as the 66-year-old has not coached since 2013 when he was with the Washington Redskins.

John Elway sounds like he is not going to fire Vance Joseph

John Elway

John Elway sounds like he is not going to make a head coaching change this season.

Elway was on Orange and Blue 760 in Denver on Monday and talked about the team following Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans. The Broncos GM said that he is going to “stay the course,” which makes it seem like they will not make a coaching change and fire Vance Joseph.

The Broncos are in their bye week, which would have seemingly been a convenient time to make a head coaching change because it would give an extra week for such a transition before the team would play its next game. If Elway intends to stay the course through the bye week, it seems unlikely that he would make a change later in the season.

Denver is 3-6 this season, a year after going 5-11 in Joseph’s first season as a head coach. Even Joseph’s poor decision against Houston won’t cost him his job this season.

Report: John Elway ‘extremely angry’ with Chad Kelly, could release him

John Elway

The Denver Broncos were impressed enough with Chad Kelly during the offseason that they decided to move on from former first-round pick Paxton Lynch, but things have changed in a hurry.

Kelly was arrested early Tuesday morning for criminal trespassing, and president of football operations John Elway is reportedly furious about it. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Elway has not ruled out releasing Kelly.

There was a report recently that Kelly might get a chance to start for the Broncos given how poorly Case Keenum has played, but that now seems unlikely. Kelly, the last pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, was kicked off the team at Clemson before enrolling in a junior college and later going on to play at Ole Miss. He was not invited to the NFL combine due to off-field issues.