With the sudden and somewhat shocking news that now former Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway will be moving away from the General Manager position, we are starting to hear some name of replacements. No interviews have been officially announced, but these are some of the logical candidates being thrown around by plugged in media.
From "The Aftermath" on @nflnetwork: Many have already begun to connect former #Broncos personnel guys Champ Kelly and Adam Peters to Denver for their vacant GM gig. Makes sense. pic.twitter.com/am4HWbWWl5— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 4, 2021
Adam Peters, 49ers Vice President of Player Personnel
Peters seems like the hot General Manager candidate around the league currently and he is one with a connection to the Broncos and John Elway which always helps someone looking for a job within the Broncos.
He has been the teams Vice President of Player Personnel and part of the Front Office that has turned the 49ers into one of the better teams in the league(when healthy) and with one of the better rosters in the league.
His connection with the Broncos dates back to 2009 when he was hired as a regional scout for the Broncos before being elevated to a national scout in 2011 through 2013. He then served as the team’s assistant director of college scouting through 2014 and 2015. He then ended his tenure with the Broncos as their director of college scouting in 2016. He was then poached by John Lynch and the 49ers staff after Lynch was hired into the General Manager role in San Francisco.
Here is what Elway had to say about Peters after allowing him to join the 49ers Front Office.
“He’s very good at what he does and I hate losing him. But I also know that it’s a great opportunity for him as far as the responsibilities that he was going to gain in San Francisco. But also I know that he’s going to be able to go and help John. If it was anyone else, I probably wouldn’t have. But I know it’s a great opportunity for Adam and he’ll be a tremendous help to John.”
So his experience here with the Broncos likely makes him a front runner for the job, if he wants it. He has been connected to the GM jobs in Carolina and Washington as well. So the Broncos face stiff competition for his services if they decide he is their guy.
Champ Kelly, Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel
With Vic Fangio having some influence on the General Manager search, one name that is being tossed into the mix is Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel, Champ Kelly. He also has a background with the Broncos, much like Adam Peters.
Someone I’d like to see as a candidate: Bears asst. dir. of player personnel @champkelly1. 8 seasons w/ Broncos. In his last 4 years, he was the Broncos’ assistant director of pro personnel, meaning free agency was under his watch. A lot of great FA signings in his time w/ DEN.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 4, 2021
This is Champ Kelly’s background/history with the Broncos organization from his biography page on the Chicago Bears official website.
Prior to joining the Bears, Kelly spent eight seasons with the Denver Broncos (2007-14), including the last five as Assistant Director of Pro Personnel. He originally joined the Broncos in 2007 and served as a Northeast region college scout (2007), and Assistant Coordinator of Pro and College Scouting (2008 – 09).
During Kelly’s five season as the Broncos’ Assistant Director of Pro Personnel, the Broncos won four AFC West Division titles (2011-14). In addition, the Broncos during his tenure as Assistant Director of Pro Personnel signed eight veteran free agents that went on to make the Pro Bowl, including two players—guard Louis Vasquez (2013) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (2014)—who earned their first career Pro Bowl selections after coming to Denver. Furthermore, in 2014, the Broncos became just the second team (Carolina, 1996) in NFL history to sign four veteran free agents in a single offseason who made the Pro Bowl in their first year with the club: Sanders, cornerback Aqib Talib, safety T.J. Ward and defensive end DeMarcus Ware.
Those are some damn good free agent signings made during his time within the Broncos Front Office. His history with working with the team and with Elway during their successful run could give him a leg up on the competition.
Kelly’s current role with the Bears via his biography is this: “Kelly works collaboratively with Bears Director of Player Personnel Josh Lucas and College Scouting Director Mark Sadowski in directing both the Bears pro personnel and college scouting departments”.
The Bears have built a good roster and one that has them in the postseason this season. His time with the Broncos and his connections with the former staff shouldn’t hurt his chances as well. Obviously, this is just speculation, but he appears like someone who should get a look.
John Spytek, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Director of Player Personnel
One final name that is being mentioned as a potential candidate is Tampa Bay Buccaneers Director of Player Personnel, John Spytek.
Bucs director of player personnel John Spytek a name to watch with Broncos. Worked for Elway in Denver and helped built Tampa’s loaded roster.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 4, 2021
He has been the Buccaneers Director of Player Personnel for five seasons. A man helping to build the talented Buccaneers roster that’s heading to the postseason as well in 2020.
Spytek has served as a Broncos National Scout before joining the Buccaneers staff as their Director of Player Personnel in 2016.
Here is what the Tampa Bay news release had to say about Spytek’s addition to their Front Office.
Spytek served Denver as a national scout for the Broncos in 2014 after evaluating the Southwest region for the club during his first year with the team in 2013.
Spytek, who owns ten seasons of personnel experience in the NFL ranks, spent three seasons (2010-12) as the Cleveland Browns’ director of college scouting during which time the club produced six PFW/PFWA All-Rookie Team selections and drafted four players who went on to make the Pro Bowl in 2013.
His background in player personnel with Tampa Bay could be intriguing for the Broncos who are likely looking for someone to rebuild and reshape their roster moving forward.
None of these candidates have officially been requested to interview for the Broncos General Manager opening, but these are three of the logical ones. Having a connection with the Broncos appears to be a priority here, but we shall see who they bring in to see if that’s actually the case.
Right now, I like Adam Peter and Champ Kelly the most, but I don’t know much about everyone else to really come to a good take right now. I hope we go the route of an up and coming General Manager instead of bringing in a former failed General Manager in for a second shot.
So I ask you Broncos Country, Who do you want? What do you want to see in a General Manager candidate and how do you think this all ultimately shakes out?