The Broncos made it official Wednesday, announcing the hiring of Hall of Fame QB John Elway as the team's new executive vice president of football operations.
Elway will oversee all football matters, including the hiring of a new head coach. He will work with GM Brian Xanders, but Elway will be in charge of personnel.
Elway will report to Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and Joe Ellis, who received the title of team president on Wednesday. Ellis, who had previously been the team's chief operating officer, will have ultimate responsibility over the entire organization.
"John Elway's leadership, competitiveness and passion for the Denver Broncos will position this team for long-term success through his work leading our football operations," Bowlen said in a statement released on Broncos.com. "John has won championships as both a player and executive, and his experience will be a valuable addition to this franchise. He is the perfect fit for this role, and I am excited to welcome him back to the Denver Broncos."
Elway spent the 2010 season as a marketing consultant for the team, and has previous front-office experience from his eight years as the CEO and co-owner of the Arena Football League's Colorado Crush.
The team will hold a formal press conference to announce the Elway hiring this afternoon.
The way we see it
We've seen a former high-profile player placed in charge of a franchise previously, and it didn't end well - Matt Millen's tenure in Detroit is universally viewed as a disaster. But this could be different, as Elway does have some previous football front-office experience, albeit at a lower level.
Elway will get a chance to mold the organization's football department to his liking, and he would be wise to surround himself with solid personnel minds, as this is an area in which he does not have extensive experience.
Bringing back the hero quarterback that delivered a pair of Super Bowl wins to Denver is the type of move that could distract a disgruntled fan base that had to put up with an underachieving team and in-season coaching move in 2010.