John Elway can add "general manager" to his business card after three seasons as the executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos. Elway and the Broncos agreed to a three-year extension Wednesday that will likely result in a pay raise, according to the Denver Post.
Whether the new title gives Elway any more control of the team is unclear. He was already the highest-ranking member of the Broncos' front office behind owner Pat Bowlen and president Joe Ellis. As GM, Elway should have final say over all personnel moves, though that's essentially what he had when he was just the executive vice president of football operations.
The extension doesn't come as much of a surprise considering the Broncos' success under Elway's direction. Denver won 13 regular season games in each of the last two seasons, and made the Super Bowl this past season thanks in large part to an NFL MVP campaign from Peyton Manning. The Broncos suffered a 43-8 whipping at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks to whiff on a championship, but Elway's construction should make them a contender next season, as well.
Though many of Elway's draft picks are still too young to have made a major contribution, save linebacker Von Miller and tight end Julius Thomas, he has tremendous success signing impact free agents. Manning and guard Louis Vasquez were named All-Pros after being brought in by Elway. The likes of Wes Welker, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Terrance Knighton, Shaun Phillips and Trindon Holliday were all significant contributors this past season,
The new contract is technically a four-year deal that negates the last year of Elway's original contract. He will be in the Broncos' front office through 2017 under the new conditions. If Elway fulfills the length of the contract, he will have been in the Broncos' organization in some capacity for 23 years. He spent 16 years in Denver as a player after being taken No. 1 overall in the 1983 NFL Draft.
The Broncos are staking their future to the team's current leadership. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was given a two-year extension earlier this month, and according to the Post, the Broncos are expected to give head coach John Fox a new multi-year deal. Based on recent success, those appear to be wise investments.