For years Broncos fans have gone by the saying, “In Elway we trust.” That idea is well warranted. John Elway has been the face of the franchise since being drafted back in 1983. In the process, Elway has taken the team to seven Super Bowls both as a player and general manager. Elway has always made it known that the precedent of the Denver Broncos is to win “world championships.” However, recent moves made over the weekend have many fans scratching their heads and filling social media with their displeasure.
To start, the team released veteran safety T.J. Ward with one year remaining on his contract. Ward was a key component in a defense that finished first in pass defense over the last two seasons. He was a vocal leader loved by his teammates, and a player who brought a ferocious tenacity that made receivers think twice before going across the middle.
At the end of the day, this is the NFL we are talking about. The business and team will always triumph over personal feelings. Anybody who has been around the league will be the first to tell you that. “It’s always hard, I will tell you I was in that locker room,” noted Elway. “I didn’t agree with every move that management made. You create those relationships in that locker room and it’s important. T.J. was a big part of that. I could tell you how many friends and people I had cut over my career, and I didn’t agree with all of them but you know, that’s part of it. I think they understand, at least I hope they understand, that we had to do what we believe is best for the Denver Broncos.”
With Ward gone the “No Fly Zone” will no doubt never be the same. The Broncos will instead turn to their youth to fill his shoes. Second year duo Justin Simmons and Will Parks are in a prime position to carry the torch. “Justin had a hell of a spring, and obviously with T.J. not working during the entire training camp for the most part, Justin and Parks got a chance to play a lot. Obviously, opportunity leads to promotion,” said head coach Vance Joseph. Joseph affirms, “Both of those guys played very well. Parks, he was our starting dime backer for the entire preseason. Watching those young guys play, they were both impressive young players.”
Elway and the Broncos were not done. Rumors began to fly over the weekend that a ‘certain’ former Broncos quarterback would return. Many shot down the idea stating there was “too much bad blood.” Today it’s official. After passing his physical, Brock Osweiler is a Denver Bronco once more. The team signed Osweiler to a one-year deal after letting quarterback, and fan favorite Kyle Sloter hit waivers. The Minnesota Vikings later claimed Sloter.
Forget the bad blood. The Broncos had “a glaring hole” at quarterback as Elway noted following Paxton Lynch’s injury. Though the long-term future with Osweiler remains as cloudy as it was back in March of 2016, for now at least, he will serve as the backup until Paxton Lynch gets healthy.
On the surface moves don’t always make sense on the outside, but Vance Joseph wants fans to know they’re thinking ahead of just this season. “Every move that we are making is football decisions, its big picture football decisions. We are trying to build the best football team we can and that’s the key here.”
Fans and even players may not like it, but put your faith in the man who is the king of comebacks. That no matter how bad it may look on the outside, number seven always found a way to get it done.