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Brian Xanders out as Broncos’ general manager

Brian Xanders AP

After three years on the job, Brian Xanders is done as the general manager of the Denver Broncos.

Xanders and Broncos front office boss John Elway met today, and afterward they both claimed that it was a mutual decision to part ways.

“John and I had a lengthy conversation today and we mutually decided to part ways for the best interest of my career aspirations,” Xanders said, via Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

“It was tough because I have a great deal of respect for Brian as a football man but also as a person,” Elway said. “Even more so as a person. He was very helpful to me in this first year getting acclimated back to the NFL. I owe him a lot. Just from the conversation we had, we just thought for his career and for the Broncos we felt that now was the best time to go a different way.”

It’s hard not to be a bit skeptical that this was a truly mutual decision. (Other than Jerry Seinfeld and Janeane Garofalo, no one really has a mutual breakup.) When Elway took over the Broncos’ front office, Xanders was already in place as the general manager, but Elway’s presence as the final decision-maker on personnel moves raises the question of why a general manager was needed at all. It sounds as though Elway decided that the Broncos don’t need a general manager, and that was a decision Xanders would have to live with whether he liked it or not.

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70 Responses to “Brian Xanders out as Broncos’ general manager”
  1. skoobyfl says: May 7, 2012 7:42 PM

    Must of been a Tebow fan.

  2. peytonsneck18 says: May 7, 2012 7:42 PM

    maybe he didnt want them to trade Tebow and sign Peyton???

  3. NationalFlagFootballLeague says: May 7, 2012 7:49 PM

    At least Denver isn’t going to LA, The Vikings are.

  4. ryancloud says: May 7, 2012 7:50 PM

    He should have been fired the second they drafted Tebow.

  5. bchapman2011 says: May 7, 2012 7:50 PM

    I am guessing this is the fallout of a mediocre draft this year……You sign Peyton Manning yet fail to draft any additional weapons for him?

  6. tebowsgonnagitya says: May 7, 2012 7:52 PM

    He has failed many times. Knowshaun Ayers Tebow are the highlights, but just the tip of the draft fail iceberg…. no real shock there.

  7. kcfanatic says: May 7, 2012 7:52 PM

    Xander’s mutual agreement to leave after being fired is better than George Castanza’s continuiing to use his private bathroom.

  8. cletusvandam says: May 7, 2012 7:53 PM

    He was probably responsible for the Derek Wolfe pick.

  9. rudwo says: May 7, 2012 7:54 PM

    It just makes the team look foolish when they say it is “mutual”. What GM has ever voluntarily stepped down?

  10. jacobslatter says: May 7, 2012 7:55 PM

    You are welcome back to the Falcons Mr. Xanders, you can babysit the Polian dude amongst other things.

  11. 1nyj says: May 7, 2012 7:56 PM

    skoobyfl says:
    May 7, 2012 7:42 PM

    Must of been a Tebow fan.

    Must HAVE. It’s must HAVE.

  12. jaydog76 says: May 7, 2012 7:58 PM

    Manning will forge his own weapons, he did in Indy and he will in Denver.

  13. lolb23 says: May 7, 2012 7:59 PM

    Elway is horsing around again. Get it, horsing…cause he has gigantic horse teeth…He looks like a horse.

  14. mungman69 says: May 7, 2012 8:02 PM

    It’s Elway’s team

  15. rushbacker says: May 7, 2012 8:03 PM

    His drafts have been turrible. Good riddance.

  16. paulnoga says: May 7, 2012 8:06 PM

    John Elway is determined to follow Michael Jordan as great athletes that totally screw up as executives.

  17. JP says: May 7, 2012 8:06 PM

    @bchapman2011 – It had nothing to do with the 2012 draft.

    Xanders has been GM in title only since coming on board three years ago. He deferred to Shanahan, then he deferred to McDaniels, and finally Elway. The Broncos probably had no use to continue to pay a guy GM money that wasn’t really the GM… And Xanders had no reason to take a demotion when he could likely find better work with another team.

    Elway is making the GM decisions, and the Broncos don’t plan to bring in another GM.

  18. iplaybad says: May 7, 2012 8:07 PM

    In my work, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with Brian Xanders on several occasions. From all indications, he NEVER wanted Tebow. In fact, he and McDaniels’ relationship fractured over the call to trade a 2, 3, and 4 to get TRT in the first place.

    This decision was about authority. Xanders has a keen eye for personnel and wants to make the final call on players. Elway is a legend in Denver and will unlikely relinquish that power as long as he works for the Broncos organization.

    My guess is that Xanders thought that he wasn’t getting enough credit for his work and wanted to move into a situation where he’ll have the opportunity to be in charge. Elway also wanted to shed some of his salary from the front office and streamline the personnel moves. The NFL is a tough gig, man.

  19. blackdonnelly says: May 7, 2012 8:09 PM

    I have to assume what got Xanders whacked was his response “wtf?” when the Donkeys took Ostweiler in the draft. Otherwise, it’s Elway’s “Napoleon” complex taking over.

    As a Raiders fan, I like this move, but trust me, if Peyton cannot finish his career or even the season in Denver, you can bet that Elway will be clipped next.

    Then he can go back to selling cars and running his cheesey, overpriced restaurants.

  20. jlb10 says: May 7, 2012 8:10 PM

    this leaves elway as the biggest head on the block if manning doesn’t work out and they don’t win and win alot. it doesn’t and elway will be gone and never get a job again

  21. Stiller43 says: May 7, 2012 8:11 PM

    Well he said “mutual for my career development.”

    Its harder to get a new job if he gets fired from this one, so he decided to mutualy leave so it might help him get his next job easier. BAM

  22. rajbais says: May 7, 2012 8:12 PM

    Rookies from 2011:

    Quinton Carter: Not that bad.

    Von Miller: Awesome.

    Orlando Franklin: Started every game along the offensive line.

    Three starting rookies isn’t bad for a guy that got trampled by Josh “Monkey Business” McDaniels. Xanders is not an innocent bystander, but we all know that McDaniels ruined that team faster than any diva WR could!!!! McDaniels would NEVER understand that because he traded one away and his team got worse!!!!

  23. Spencer says: May 7, 2012 8:13 PM

    One too many disastrous Broncos’ drafts.

  24. agelardi says: May 7, 2012 8:14 PM

    Guess Elway didn’t owe him a job.

  25. jimiinpa says: May 7, 2012 8:15 PM

    now it’s just the big forehead and the big teeth there

  26. joshuah0708 says: May 7, 2012 8:15 PM

    Lol @ people pointing fingers, he was gone the day they invented a position for Elway.

    The Guy was involved in trading Cutler, Marshall, hillis, hiring mcdaniels, drafting tebow accepting orton for Cutler.

    There is a reason Elway IMMEDIATELY got ‘final decisions’ … and it was ‘best for his career’ if its mutual cuz it looks bad on a resume that he got fired. Looks worse when ur tryin to collect unemployment.

  27. broncobeta says: May 7, 2012 8:16 PM

    OMG THANK YOU!

    This guy was so useless during his time with Denver.

    When McDaniels was fired he threw him under the bus and acted like he was completely innocent.

    If he was completely innocent, then he wouldn’t have been doing anything but collecting a paycheck. Which is apparently something he has been doing while Elway was in charge as well.

  28. realitypolice says: May 7, 2012 8:25 PM

    It has nothing to do with Tebow or “fallout of a mediocre draft”.

    You people need to become better at reading between the lines. Xanders didn’t say he was leaving for the good of the organization or the good of the franchise, he said he was leaving “in the best interest of my career aspirations”.

    Translation: “Everyone knows I have absolutely no say in personnel decisions anymore, thus being a powerless GM will do nothing to enhance my resume. I am better off going somewhere, even in a lesser position, where I will actually input in what happens”.

    He had nothing whatsoever to do with the Tebow trade, the Manning signing, or the draft. All of those decisions were made by Elway. Hence, he’s leaving.

  29. trubroncfan07 says: May 7, 2012 8:25 PM

    Just a matter of time, as soon the Broncos signed Mike Sullivan to do the contracts and handle the cap, Xanders days were done. Another good move by Elway!

  30. woodyg says: May 7, 2012 8:27 PM

    Denver & the Broncos will find out why you don’t bring in an ‘old hero’ from yesteryear to run your organization. Once Elway demolishes the Broncos & sends the franchise into total disarray, then Elway will have to leave in disgrace & Denver will have to start all over again. Old players are best left to do commercials & attend one game a year. Just ask M. Jordan.

  31. kodakinvegas says: May 7, 2012 8:27 PM

    Bchapman, That sounds pretty logical not to mention they didn’t have much to start with as it is. Peyton will help a lot and maybe a couple defensive rookies will come through. Manning needs three good receivers and a kick butt tight end. He’s got more now than he had in Indy and that’s for sure

  32. mullman7675 says: May 7, 2012 8:31 PM

    I love seeing rival teams in turmoil. Good luck this year denver, better hope the sheriff is near 100%…

  33. sml1950 says: May 7, 2012 8:33 PM

    Wonder if Peyton, uh I mean Elway, is going to bring Polian in?

  34. eaglesfan290 says: May 7, 2012 8:38 PM

    The wall between John’s offie and Brian Xanders is being knocked down as we speak.

    Hot Tub and Poker table are on the way!

  35. croghan1919 says: May 7, 2012 8:41 PM

    When Xanders looked back on the his last year since Elways arrival, he realized that he had played more golf and had spent more time with his family than he had in the past 10 yrs. he shouldve seen the hand writng on the wall.
    Heck, I always thought Elway was the GM.
    Never read anything about Xanders.

  36. Florio_Jr. says: May 7, 2012 8:45 PM

    Maybe Xander’s had a job offer to be the head scouting director of the New York Mets.

  37. doug1grohlin says: May 7, 2012 8:53 PM

    As a Bear fan, I’d like to thank Denver management for being what you were the last few years. Our team has come such a long way at your expense.

  38. emaimo80 says: May 7, 2012 8:54 PM

    I thought elway was the Gm? Well he is now anyways.

  39. rushbacker says: May 7, 2012 9:10 PM

    woodyg says:
    May 7, 2012 8:27 PM
    Denver & the Broncos will find out why you don’t bring in an ‘old hero’ from yesteryear to run your organization. Once Elway demolishes the Broncos & sends the franchise into total disarray, then Elway will have to leave in disgrace & Denver will have to start all over again. Old players are best left to do commercials & attend one game a year. Just ask M. Jordan.
    _____________

    Yea. In one year under Elway, Denver went from the second pick in the draft to division champs and knocking off the Steelers in the playoffs. And then they signed a guy named Peyton Manning. You Fader and Chorf fans can keep dreaming, but Elway’s front office career is trending more like Ozzie Newsome’s than Michael Jordan’s.

  40. ghjjf says: May 7, 2012 9:15 PM

    Is this the fool that got rid of Tebow for a washed up Manning?

  41. bluewinger says: May 7, 2012 9:17 PM

    Elway’s time is ticking. Especially if Manning were to go down. I don’t know how, but some way or somehow Tebow trade is going to bite Elway in the ass!
    This is an Elway mistake, cause he should of known what type of players in the past that xanders has drafted.

  42. mtrhead269 says: May 7, 2012 9:36 PM

    Elway was lucky to have AD as a running back and bail out his failure in big games.

    He failed as a husband and father. Trouble telling the truth.

    Failed in the Auto business. Failed to tell the truth.

    Failed as an investor. Bad decision making

    Good luck Broncos.

    Cant wait to see Frankenstien absorb a few blindsides from Harrison. Hope the bolts don’t fall out.

  43. joshuah0708 says: May 7, 2012 9:36 PM

    @woodyg …. your comparing Elway to Jordan? Lol Elway has done a PHENOMENAL job, he turned a team from last place to 2 games from the SB in one off season. Then signed a HOF qb a great CB and drafted guys 3 this year that will start and will make an impact THIS SEASON!! Nice try doucher.

  44. Little Earthquake says: May 7, 2012 9:40 PM

    Throughout the entire Tebow and Manning storyline I’d never heard this guy’s name. Just assumed Elway was calling the shots.

  45. VegasKJ says: May 7, 2012 9:44 PM

    He’s been dying to get back to his old job — being the front man for Cheap Trick.

  46. perry1977 says: May 7, 2012 9:51 PM

    @paulnoga and @woodyg

    Except for Elway actually graduated on time from STANFORD with a degree in economics, and Jordan graduated late from North Carolina with a degree in…Cultural Geography???

    Herpa derp….herpa derpa derpa derp….

    Durrrr…..

  47. TeamBalco says: May 7, 2012 10:07 PM

    Him draft no good.

  48. thefiesty1 says: May 7, 2012 10:16 PM

    His career aspirations must have included Elway’s job. If that’s the case, he was between a rock and a hard place. He should have known that when Elway was “made” president.

  49. nodindenver says: May 7, 2012 10:17 PM

    It seems like everybody in the NFL has worked in the Bronco’s facility within the last ten years. Year-to-year consistency has been in short supply at Dove Valley. EFX is now EF and let’s hope that it does not leave Bronco’s Country equally f ‘d!

  50. thacloser86 says: May 7, 2012 10:24 PM

    If John is calling the shots why hell would he want to stay around an be considered a nobody. Right decision get on Pat and Turner an hit the road job opening in Jacksonville soon

  51. mrmarcus55 says: May 7, 2012 10:26 PM

    This Broncos team is pretty much a rebuilding team…thus makes believe it was all about the money for Manning. Going be lol’ing and lmao’ing when they dont make the playoffs and horse teeth says ‘wait till next year’.

  52. brenenostler says: May 7, 2012 10:34 PM

    Dang I didn’t even know this guy was there

  53. lolb23 says: May 7, 2012 10:41 PM

    I saw Elway at the Kentucky Derby. He was everywhere.

  54. ibreathefootball says: May 7, 2012 10:41 PM

    No more: Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal, Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, Correll Buckhalter, Spencer Larsen, Brodrick Bunkley, Andre Goodman, Ryan Harris, Daniel Graham, Russ Hochstein, Brian Xanders, Josh McDaniels.

    Nobody is good enough for the Horse Mouth, take notes vets!! He will cut you faster than Freddy Krueger!

  55. rexryanschoolofpodiatry says: May 7, 2012 10:54 PM

    If John Elway ate horse…….it would be cannibalism.

  56. joshuah0708 says: May 7, 2012 11:11 PM

    Lol I’m enjoying the comments about Elway like he’s the new al Davis.

    Elway isnt a graduate of Stanford, 2 time leader of a super bowl WINNING team, and one of the top 10 QB’s of all time.

    Xanders has served no purpose in 2 years. a large group of people never knew the Guy existed why does it matter if the Guy left?

    I wonder if the same people will ‘cry horse’ when hanie isnt a bronco week 1

  57. nobamano says: May 7, 2012 11:34 PM

    John Elway, the Broncos’ Narcissist in Chief, wanted Xanders out of the way. And so he is. And when Peyton goes down and Hanie has to go in, Xanders will play Elway’s George W. Bush, getting “credit” for all of the bad stuff for as long as his idolizing fans will allow it. My kids met Elway at a couple of Arena games, and off-camera, the dude is a Class A turd! It might not be the politically correct thing to say here in Colorado, but who cares. The dude was even on mic when his kid, Jack, played my kid’s team in High School. Denver has made nothing but asinine moves since the cut Shanny. But as a Bears fan, I’m cool with that! :)

  58. nobamano says: May 7, 2012 11:51 PM

    The Manning signing, if anyone cares, was about axing Tebow. Say what you want about him, the dude got the team playing harder whenever he came in. The Colorado peeps were putting up billboards demanding Fox start him, but John Elway, aka Johnny Football, didn’t like him. He only started him once the uproar started making him look bad. So he puts the kid in and WHAM! The kid wins! Now he can’t just yank him. He’s stuck. And what do you know; the kid gets them into the playoffs! Now Johnny Football, the all-knowing guru, is stuck with this goody-two-shoes beloved by a majority of the State. A real controversy. Everyone knows Johnny hates his guts! Can’t get rid of him now, Johnny, unless … in comes Peyton, a first ballot Hall of Famer. And the rest is/or will be, history.

  59. drumsomeone says: May 7, 2012 11:53 PM

    It was Xanders idea, he wants to be a general manager in charge of personnel decisions. He has to go elsewhere for that, good luck to him! He was a level headed guy during the changes over the last few years, I love the guy as a leader!

  60. nobamano says: May 8, 2012 12:17 AM

    joshuah0708 says:
    Elway isnt a graduate of Stanford, 2 time leader of a super bowl WINNING team, and one of the top 10 QB’s of all time.

    So what? Does that make him a personnel genius? I know a dude who graduated from Harvard and couldn’t run a third world country! And the 2 Superbowls? Was he running a one-man show? Was he the coach, too? Where is the coach now? How did Johnny Football do with his Arena Team? Where is it now? The dude signed a QB with 3-4 neck surgeries and is backing him up with an unsuccessful UFA and a rookie. Seriously? Bowlen is struggling with dementia and Elway comes marching up like the Second Coming. Sounds an awful lot like the Hoodie Lite fiasco all over again! Mackie D immediately decimates the #2 ranked offense so he can build the team in his own minuscule image. Elway trades the dude that helped get them into the playoffs for the same reason; to draft his own guy. That rookie QB is probably wondering why Big Jon keeps calling him Jack! Same old, same old …

  61. bigbadal21 says: May 8, 2012 12:26 AM

    I have also been told by friends of mine who knew and worked with Elway that he is a real @sshole.

  62. randallflagg52 says: May 8, 2012 1:22 AM

    paulnoga says:May 7, 2012 8:06 PM

    John Elway is determined to follow Michael Jordan as great athletes that totally screw up as executives.

    ==================================

    It’s working pretty well for the Ravens with Ozzie Newsome running the show…

  63. whiteshoesjohnson says: May 8, 2012 1:41 AM

    Sat next to John Elway, he was at the next table eating lunch, this was like 10 days ago at the Cherry Creek Mall. I did not speak to him but was close enough to hear the conversation – they were saying they all are outraged Ray Guy is not in the Hall Of Fame

  64. mrmarcus55 says: May 8, 2012 1:44 AM

    joshuah0708 says: Elway isnt a graduate of Stanford, 2 time leader of a super bowl WINNING team, and one of the top 10 QB’s of all time.

    Yeah and lost a few to. Not to mention those superbowl teams had cap violations. *

    I like how Broncos think becuse last year they lucked and stumbled into playoffs that this year will be better? Better lay off grand pappies cough syrup.

  65. joetoronto says: May 8, 2012 5:50 AM

    rexryanschoolofpodiatry says: May 7, 2012 10:54 PM

    If John Elway ate horse…….it would be cannibalism.
    *************************************************
    lolb23 says: May 7, 2012 10:41 PM

    I saw Elway at the Kentucky Derby. He was everywhere.
    *************************************************
    My God, these two quotes were awesome. :)

  66. sicklnick121 says: May 8, 2012 7:20 AM

    Realy? Realy? This is nothing more then Elways ego…And what do we realy know for sure???

    Maybe Xanders wanted Manning and Elway was against it! Hahahahaha donkey fans with your horse tooth jack@ss leading your team…..Good Luck with that……hahaaha!!!!

    Wait I got it….Today they are gonna announce that Terrell Davis is gonna be named the next GM in Denver….Someone has to come in and make Elway look like a winner, Once again…Hahahahaa…..And you guys think the Raiders are a joke

  67. Patriot42 says: May 8, 2012 7:59 AM

    It is hard to be a dictator when there are other people making decisions.

  68. jcdavey2011 says: May 8, 2012 8:35 AM

    is it normal to fire a GM in may?

  69. freebird2011 says: May 8, 2012 9:11 AM

    This situation is somewhat reminiscent of what happened when former player Matt Millen took over the Lions.

    Initially, he had a GM, Bill Tobin, who handled the draft. Tobin’s first (and only) draft included Jeff Backus, Dom Raiola, and Shaun Rogers. That was a draft that was the Lions most successful during the entire Millen era.

    Thereafter, Millen decided he didn’t need Tobin any more and fired him. Of course, we all know how that turned out.

    I suspect with many of the pieces already in place, the Broncos will suffer a better fate.

  70. spellingcops says: May 8, 2012 9:13 AM

    nobamano says: May 7, 2012 11:34 PM

    John Elway, the Broncos’ Narcissist in Chief, wanted Xanders out of the way. And so he is. And when Peyton goes down and Hanie has to go in, Xanders will play Elway’s George W. Bush, getting “credit” for all of the bad stuff for as long as his idolizing fans will allow it. My kids met Elway at a couple of Arena games, and off-camera, the dude is a Class A turd! It might not be the politically correct thing to say here in Colorado, but who cares. The dude was even on mic when his kid, Jack, played my kid’s team in High School. Denver has made nothing but asinine moves since the cut Shanny. But as a Bears fan, I’m cool with that! :)
    —————————————————
    He was probably a jerk to your kids because they were out of control, misbehaving little a holes. I’ve heard of others meeting him and saying nothing but the opposite.

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