At some point during the 2020 season, every Broncos fan came to the realization that Denver would not be going to the playoffs and that this season would end just as the previous four had, in abject disappointment.
The cozy garments of Broncos success that had comforted generations of fans have been laid to rest. Not losing back-to-back seasons? Gone. Consecutive games without being shut out? Kaput. The Broncos team we knew and trusted to be a competitor year-after-year, showed itself to no longer be that.
When the 2020 season ended with a loss against the Las Vegas Raiders on January 3rd, the wheels of meaningful change finally began to turn in the right direction.
John Elway announced that he would be stepping into an elevated role with the team, but we have subsequently come to find that his power would be greatly diminished with the hiring of a new General Manager. As hard as it is to say, the time had come for the man who helped bring Peyton Manning, Demarcus Ware, TJ Ward, Aqib Talib, two AFC Championships, and a Super Bowl (not to mention that this is John ‘Freakin’ Elway, the single most important figure in Broncos history), to step aside.
Shortly after the Elway news, it was revealed that the unchecked control of the Broncos by Joe Ellis would also be coming to a close following his 2021 contract expiration. Since the death of Pat Bowlen, Ellis’ primary role with the Broncos has been to obstruct the transition of ownership to any of the Bowlen heirs. History has shown that executing the duties of the Bowlen family trust and running the Broncos proved counter-productive to success on the field.
With Ellis stepping aside and and with the Bowlen family’s day in court coming this summer, there is finally movement on the ownership front. While a final determination as to whether the team will be transitioned to a member of the Bowlen family or sold outright remains to be seen, at least there is a solution somewhere on the horizon. This nebulous trust-control has proven to be a complete disaster and the sooner it’s over, the better it will be for Broncos Country and the NFL.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, 2021 may be just as bad as the previous half-decade. Just because reforms have started, it’s likely to take some time before the needle starts to tick northward. John Elway will always be the Denver Broncos. His legacy is cemented as a great player and an executive that brought championship football back to Denver. The vanity of executive control will soon give way to centralized ownership with vision and expectations.
We just have to be patient.
Hometown MVP: Denver Broncos Kareem Jackson provides hope | 9news.com
Providing families with chronically ill children with daily encouragement and life changing experiences. Honoring and supporting women who are battling breast cancer
Broncos interview Brian Stark for GM opening
Stark is the Broncos' director of college scouting.
Denver Broncos narrow GM search 2021 NFL offseason | 9news.com
The Broncos are down to four candidates for the job.
Nancy Bush Ellis, mother of Broncos CEO Joe Ellis, passes away | 9news.com
She was the sister of former President George H.W. Bush.
NFL coaching, GM tracker: Latest news, interviews, developments in 2021 hiring cycle
NFL.com is tracking all of the latest news, interviews and developments concerning coach and GM vacancies around the league as the 2021 hiring cycle kicks into gear.
Jets complete interview with Brandon Staley - ProFootballTalk
NFL announces schedule for divisional round - ProFootballTalk
FMIA: How The Browns—And A Guy Named Blake—Survived Weird Wild-Card Week And Upset The Steelers - ProFootballTalk
Peter King's Football Morning In America column begins with a look at the Cleveland Browns' wild week, culminating in a wild-card upset win over Pittsburgh.
Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald (rib), Cooper Kupp (knee) day-to-day; QB situation still unclear
Rams coach Sean McVay expressed optimism on Sunday that defensive tackle Aaron Donald and wide receiver Cooper Kupp can return for Saturday's divisional-round matchup with the Packers, but Los Angeles' quarterback situation remains unclear.
As they continue to try to 'build that championship culture,' QB Mitchell Trubisky still sees his future with Chicago Bears
In the moments following the season-ending loss to the New Orleans Saints, Mitchell Trubisky spoke about his potential future with the Chicago Bears, and how he feels that together, they have "unfinished business."
Baltimore Ravens' celebration on Tennessee Titans' logo about 'team unity' not disrespect
The Ravens said their celebration on the Titans' logo late in Sunday's game wasn't planned or meant to be disrespectful.
Deshaun Watson rumors: Pro Bowler prepared to play hardball with Texans, could involve Dolphins, per report - CBSSports.com
Deshaun Watson rumors: Pro Bowler prepared to play hardball with Texans, could involve Dolphins; per report
Super Wild Card Weekend: What we learned from Sunday's games
After Sunday's Super Wild Card Weekend finale, the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns are moving on. Here's what we learned on Super Wild Card Weekend Sunday.
Browns overcome adversity, past history to claim stunning wild-card victory over Steelers
The Cleveland Browns raced to a 28-0 first quarter lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers and never looked back. Judy Battista reflects on the adversity the team has overcome to advance to next weekend's Divisional Round.
Mike Tomlin on Steelers' wild-card loss: 'We were a group that died on the vine'
The final score read 48-37 in favor of the Cleveland Browns, but the 11-point differential doesn't begin to tell the full story of the Pittsburgh Steelers' collapse on Sunday night.
Lamar Jackson rewrites playoff narrative as Ravens beat Titans in Wild Card Round
Narratives about Lamar Jackson being one-and-done in each of the last two postseasons circled heading into Sunday's Wild Card Round. Jim Trotter explores how the Ravens star QB overcame doubters and a deficit to help Baltimore finally beat Tennessee.
Sean Payton slimed by Nickelodeon following Saints' wild-card win
Two days before New Orleans faced the Chicago Bears in a game seen by fans of all ages on CBS and Nickelodeon, coach Sean Payton volunteered to be slimed if his squad won. After the Saints won, Payton agreed to honor his promise.
Cleveland Browns beat Pittsburgh Steelers for 1st playoff win since 1994
After jumping to a stunning 28-0 first-quarter lead on Sunday in Pittsburgh, the Browns held on to beat the Steelers 48-37 for their first playoff victory since 1994.
New Orleans Saints poised for deep run with offensive firepower finally intact
The New Orleans Saints finally got a glimpse of what they could be with the return of several key offensive playmakers in Sunday's wild-card win over the Bears. Jeffri Chadiha discusses the team's potential for a playoff run now that it's finally whole.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees readies for 'inevitable' playoff matchup vs. Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For the first time in their storied NFL careers, Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Tampa Bay's Tom Brady will face each other in a playoff game. "I guess it was inevitable," Brees said.
Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger sets NFL playoff passing record in wild-card playoff loss to Browns - CBSSports.com
Roethlisberger tried in vain to will the Steelers back from a 28-0 deficit
Browns' Kevin Stefanski will return to coach team's Divisional Round game vs. Chiefs - CBSSports.com
Stefanski spent Sunday at home during Cleveland's big AFC North upset
Browns' Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry mock JuJu Smith-Schuster after wild-card win over Steelers - CBSSports.com
'The Browns is the Browns!' Mayfield hollered after taking down Pittsburgh
NFL Divisional Round playoff early odds: Saints are slight favorites vs. Tom Brady's Buccaneers - CBSSports.com
Opening spreads for all four games on the schedule
Ben Roethlisberger wants to return to Pittsburgh for 2021 season, puts the ball in Steelers' court - CBSSports.com
Roethlisberger has one year left on his current contract