The next time Broncos owner Pat Bowlen says, “This one’s for John,” Bowlen could be handing John Elway the pink slip to the franchise.
It came as a surprise when John Elway became the head of the Broncos’ football operations in 2011; it will be less of a surprise if he inevitably ends up running the entire team. Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post says in response to a mailbag question that Elway isn’t on the hot seat — and that he’s more likely to be the next owner of the team.
It’s only one sentence, arguably a throwaway line. But it merits careful consideration.
Bowlen has strong ties to Elway, who led the team to back-to-back Super Bowl wins to cap his playing career. In 1998, Bowlen allegedly offered to sell Elway 20 percent of the team. That sparked a lawsuit from former owner Edgar Kaiser, who claimed he had a right to match any such deals.
Still, to control the franchise Elway will need to come up with the cash to buy 30 percent of it, along with a coalition of investors to purchase the rest. With NFL team values shooting to $1 billion and beyond, it could be a challenge for Elway to come up with $300 million.
Maybe he can get a loan from Peyton Manning.