John Elway, the face of the Denver Broncos following 16 seasons as a player and more than a decade in the front office, has seen his time under contract with the franchise come to an end.
Elway's consulting deal with the Broncos finished at the conclusion of the league year last month and the club will not be renewing it, NFL Network's James Palmer reported Tuesday.
Palmer added Elway moving on from the Broncos had been planned -- from both sides -- for a while.
"I've enjoyed the relationship with the Broncos for a long, long time," Elway, 62, said in an interview Tuesday with 9NEWS. "I told Greg I'd be happy to be a resource for him and help in any way that I can. I just wanted the flexibility. They're in great hands. I still plan on being around to watch and be a resource for [CEO] Greg [Penner] or [general manager] George [Paton] if I can."
Elway led the Broncos to five Super Bowls with two victories in a playing career that stretched from 1983-1998, ultimately leading him to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
After a decorated career in Denver, the rocket-armed quarterback returned to the team's front office, serving as director of player personnel/general manager/executive vice president of football operations from 2011-2020. The onset of Elway's time as GM was fruitful to the tone of five playoff appearances, two Super Bowl berths and one Super Bowl win.
However, after a playoff-less run from 2016-2020, Elway turned over day-to-day operations in January of 2021. Elway held the title of president of football operations in 2021, with Paton taking over as GM. Last season, Elway served as a consultant -- which he's still listed as on the team website.
The most famous and renowned Bronco of them all, Elway helped return the franchise to the glory of his playing days when he came back to the club in 2011 as director of player personnel before assuming GM and executive vice president roles.
He was instrumental in building a winner and signing quarterback Peyton Manning, one of the biggest free-agent signings in league history. However, since Manning and a heralded defense won Super Bowl 50, the team has struggled to find its footing.
The Broncos haven't returned to the playoffs since that 2015 season and even a trade for Russell Wilson has come up short thus far in providing a viable replacement for Manning.
While Elway had already taken a step back with the franchise, this could provide a historic step away. He told Klis, however, that he would always be around if needed.
"I'll still be around as a resource" Elway said. "I've been with the Denver Broncos for so long that it was nice to have some sort of connection which is what I wanted. I didn't want an obligation. I'm getting a little older, I want to be able to do some things I haven't done. I'm ready to have a flexible schedule. If there's something I can help them with I'd do that."