Red Miller will be the next inductee into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame. The 40th anniversary of the 1977 Super Bowl team seems like a fitting time to honor the man who led that team to some big firsts in Broncos history. With that out of the way, the time for discussion about who is next can be a fun topic.
As Ian St. Clair and I did on the Mile High Report Radio podcast, looking through the Broncos of the past and trying to decide who fits on the ring of fame can be a fun game. We went through a lot of names, but one name that we left off is already up there. It took a question on Twitter to get us thinking about it.
@IanStClair @AdamMalnati16 Have one for you two, sort of surprised you didn't cover. With no consideration of future events: John Elway, General Manager; RoF?— Walden Cash (@Walden_Cash) May 11, 2017
John Elway is almost unanimously considered the greatest player in Broncos history. However, could he ever be considered a candidate for the Ring of Fame as a GM? It may seem like a weird question, but it could be possible. Elway took over a floundering franchise in 2011, and the turnaround was immediate.
The Josh McDaniels era was less than pleasant for Broncos fans. When Elway took over, McDaniels had wasted a first round pick on Tim Tebow. His impact was immediate. After bringing in John Fox to help right the ship, he moved on to bringing in Peyton Manning. What seems like a no brainer today was far from a sure thing at the time.
Elway rolled the dice on a quarterback with nerve damage in his throwing arm after neck surgery. Many in the NFL were saying that Manning needed to retire. Instead, Elway convinced Manning to come to Denver and win a championship. What followed was a storybook ending to Manning’s career after 4 season in Denver. Two AFC Championships and one Super Bowl later, Elway is at the top of the GM world.
In the meantime, the Broncos went about putting together one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. It was the defense that carried Manning to that eventual storybook ending. John Elway is credited with building that defense. The defense continues to be phenomenal, but the GM story can’t end there.
The question posed asked that the future be left out. The answer is a definite maybe at this point in John Elway’s GM career. However, looking to the future, can it become a slam dunk? Yes, and these next few seasons are where that point can be made. Can the Broncos continue their success without a Hall of Fame quarterback under center?
Perhaps the biggest test for John Elway’s Ring of Fame bid is what happens with the quarterback position. The chips are in the middle of the table, and the bet is that Paxton Lynch will develop into a solid starter in the NFL. If Lynch becomes a top-tier quarterback, and if the Broncos can win another Super Bowl, the answer immediately becomes a definite yes.
Then, perhaps the question becomes, can Elway get into the Hall of Fame?
Does John Elway deserve to be in the Broncos Ring of Fame as a GM?
This poll is closed
Yes, right now!
Not yet, but he’s close
No, he is already there