Other than the eight remaining draft picks, three franchise-tagged players and a few stray free agents, there isn’t much in the way of negotiation news in the NFL right now.
But one place with a lot on the line is Denver, where executive John Elway’s situation with the Broncos still hasn’t been resolved.
Elway’s contract runs out after this season, and there has been no word on any recent progress. According to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, the two sides have talked recently, and there’s no indication a deal is anything other than inevitable.
Elway himself said in May he didn’t have “any doubt” a deal would be done before the season started. “I look forward to being here with the Broncos for a long time,” he said.
But the particulars of the deal will be fascinating, and could include a stake in ownership. There were reports that Elway turned down a minority stake in the team nearly 20 years ago, but that offer never materialized as owner Pat Bowlen was in the midst of a courtroom battle with previous owner Edgar Kaiser.
“There were circumstances there that didn’t make it work out. Let’s put it that way,” Elway told the Post last August. “It wasn’t because I didn’t want it to. It’s just that there were some circumstances there that I can’t go into that caused it not to work out, which I was obviously very disappointed with.”
Any deal involving a share of ownership would have to be approved by the league. With Bowlen not involved in the day-to-day operations of the team anymore, Broncos CEO and team president Joe Ellis oversees the family trust along with team counsel Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly. They will handle any transition to Bowlen’s seven children, who will each have an equal stake in the team.
But Elway’s success as an executive makes it obvious that the Broncos want to keep him, as they continue to work on the hows and the particulars of what should be a landmark deal for football executives.