ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — John Elway announced Monday that the Broncos will make changes to their football operations, as he will remain president of football operations in 2021 but will hire a general manager with the full authority to oversee the personnel and football departments.
The Broncos' new general manager and Head Coach Vic Fangio will report to Elway as part of the new structure.
"Working in this role for the last 10 years and going back to my playing days, I've always tried to do everything I can to help the Broncos win and get better," Elway said Monday. "As part of a transition I've thought about for a long time, I have made the decision to step up into an elevated role and hire a general manager to lead our personnel and football staff.
"While I'll continue to be President of Football Operations in 2021, the GM will have final say on the draft, free agency and our roster. This person will be empowered to make all football decisions, working in partnership with Vic.
"I will be there to support our GM and Vic, providing my perspective, helping with the big decisions and being a sounding board whenever needed. With all that goes into the day-to-day responsibilities of a GM and how the job has grown, this structure will set us up for success and allow me to focus on the big picture.
"This is a great place with all the resources to win. We have a lot of good people on the football side, and I'll be there for them in any way possible.
"The relationship between the GM and Head Coach is very important — Vic is going to be involved in this hiring process. We'll cast a wide net, and I will start the search immediately with input from Vic and Joe [Ellis].
"I'm excited to begin this chapter and find the next general manager of the Denver Broncos."
Elway, who has led the team's football operations since 2011, has helped the Broncos win five AFC West titles, appear in two Super Bowls and win Super Bowl 50 under his leadership. Elway's .565 winning percentage (96-74) ranks fourth in the NFL among current general managers, and Denver's 71 wins in Elway's first 100 games as GM are believed to be the most by a lead executive in NFL history.
"John Elway is the most important and impactful person in the history of the Denver Broncos," Ellis said. "I have nothing but gratitude for how he accepted this challenge 10 years ago and helped us accomplish great things as an organization. In recent weeks, he and I have had a number of very positive — and honest — conversations about improving the team as well as his own future. John arrived at this decision, and I am fully supportive of him and this new structure. With all of his experience and competitive fire, I know John will be a tremendous resource for the Broncos in this role."
In addition to adding NFL All-Decade players in Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr., future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and perennial Pro Bowlers Emmanuel Sanders, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward and DeMarcus Ware, the Broncos have also added Pro Bowl talent via their recent drafts. Justin Simmons, Bradley Chubb, Courtland Sutton and Phillip Lindsay have all made the Pro Bowl from recent rookie classes and Garett Bolles and Noah Fant are among other key contributors.
Matt Russell, who has worked in the Broncos' front office alongside Elway for 10 years, was offered the opportunity to interview for the general manager role. Russell, the team's current Vice President of Player Personnel, will instead retire from the Broncos' organization and plans to spend time with his family.
On Sunday, Elway completed his 10th season as the Broncos' lead executive and will aim to help the Broncos return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.