With the Broncos likely to miss the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, the prestige of the franchise seems to be fading — and so is owner Pat Bowlen, who is becoming less involved with the team's everyday operations. The way we hear it, Bowlen is no longer at the forefront of the team. In his 27th year as president and CEO in Denver, health issues have forced Bowlen to take a step back and hand the reins over to chief operating officer Joe Ellis. Bowlen's focus has shifted to the NFL labor agreement and away from the team. Ellis' background is in the business side, but we hear he might have his hand in on some football-related decisions, as well. One daily team observer described Ellis as "a power broker that not a lot of people know about." We hear it was the business side that put an end to talks of a contract extension with CB Champ Bailey and it was Ellis who made a major push to hire head coach Josh McDaniels. As a supporter of the coach, Ellis' level of power will be tested if the Broncos continue to struggle and the team is forced to make a decision on whether or not to retain McDaniels.