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'We'd love to have Von finish his career here': John Elway evaluates future for Miller, Lock

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As President of Football Operations John Elway prepares to lead a search to hire the Broncos' new general manager, he emphasized that the GM would not face any caveats or specific personnel guidelines.

In regards to Drew Lock, Von Miller, Justin Simmons or any roster-related decision, the new general manager will be free to make choices free of existing expectations.

"We're going to be here to help him with evaluation," Elway said Monday. "Obviously, when that new GM comes in, he's going to come in and make his own assessment of where we are, and I think it's going to be great for us in the fact it'll be a different perspective for us too. I think that we're looking to hear from that person — what they think of our football team and where we are and what they think we need to do. We'll give them our opinions. Vic [Fangio]'s obviously going to be very involved with that as far as being the head coach and his evaluation of the players, and also mine, but we're not dictating anything before the GM comes in that he has to do this or has to do that. Those are all types of things that will be discussed."

The Broncos will have several key decisions to make this offseason, including whether to pick up Miller's team option that would keep him in Denver for 2021. Denver could also work out an extension with the team's all-time sack leader.

"I'll be involved in that and we'll see which direction [the team goes]," Elway said. "We'd love to have Von finish his career here. He's been a great Bronco for a long, long time, and that will be one of the big decisions we have in the offseason. The goal is to get Von back and have him end his career here."

Elway was also asked about the team's future at quarterback after Lock completed his second season. Lock completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 13 games.

"I still have high hopes for Drew," Elway said. "I think he, obviously, is a young quarterback that's got potential, and I think he's got potential to be a very, very good football quarterback in this league and play in this league and lead teams to victories. Obviously, he's very young and you never know how that reaction and how that transition is going to go, but I thought that he showed a lot of good signs this year. With young quarterbacks, you're going to run into inconsistency problems, which Drew had this year, but I think when I look at Drew's makeup and what he's about, he wants to be great, he wants to learn, and he wants to get better. I think that Drew has a chance to be a darn good football player in this league. Now, this offseason is going to help tremendously. Last year, you look at everything that [he] went through as far as no offseason, a new offensive coordinator, which is the worst thing that could have happen for a really young quarterback and our young players. It was very unfortunate what happened, but it was tough on everybody, I realized that too. I think this offseason will be a chance for Drew to dig in and work hard, which I know he will, and see if he can make the necessary strides to be able to be that guy."

Elway said that the team must improve its consistency on both sides of the ball in order to return to playoff contention in 2021.

"You can look at the numbers," Elway said. "We can't afford to turn the ball over and not get turnovers, even though yesterday we had four turnovers and still didn't pull it out. The one thing we have to do for sure is we can't turn the ball over. You know that's one of the most important things in this league because it's so evenly matched. We have to do a much better job with our turnovers. Offensively, we have to be more consistent. Defensively, we have to play better. Hopefully we can stay healthier on defense than what we were able to stay this year. That set us back a little bit because of the health. Our players have to get better. We have to have a good offseason to where young guys step up, and we've got to play better football. Again, that goes back to the consistency."

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