However, Shapiro did ask Ferguson an interesting question. With the way that John Elway approaches contract negotiations, will other players around the league start to shy away from signing in Denver? It seems like a fair question. Top players like to be courted. Elway isn’t interested in that.
The mantra from the Broncos GM has always been, “We want players who want to be Broncos.” He seems to think wanting to be a Bronco means taking less than market value. If that is the case, how many players are going to want to be Broncos? Of course, the other issue players run into with Elway is what he is willing to pay for.
Elway pays for production. It has been said before that Elway holds fast to the theory that if you want to get paid, you better have numbers to back it up. Players who have signed big contracts with the Broncos while Elway has been in charge are guys with consistent production. You are welcome to check out Nastyj’s article to see the numbers.
So, I come back to the question. Does Elway’s philosophy scare away potential free agents? Perhaps, but if it does, do you want those guys in Denver? I would argue that Elway’s style, while a little abrasive, is exactly why the Broncos have been so successful since he became the GM.
Just like his tenacity on the field as a player, John Elway knows what it takes to be an effective executive -
Players want to play for organizations that win. Great players are more concerned about that above all else, and they know the money will come. John Elway can certainly convince almost any player of that. Will his style drive away potential free agents? Only the free agents none of us want.