John Elway no longer with Broncos as contract ends

Denver Broncos legend John Elway is no longer employed by the franchise, as his consulting contract ended and will not be renewed.

Elway confirmed his departure to 9News in Denver on Tuesday, saying the new ownership of the team puts the Broncos "in good hands." His contract as a consultant expired on the first day of the 2023 NFL league year, March 15.

Elway, 62, said the decision was made after a meeting with new co-owner Greg Penner, who has called Elway the "ultimate Bronco."

From 2011 to 2021, Elway ran the Broncos' front office as general manager and executive vice president of football operations. The Broncos hired George Paton as general manager in 2021, and Elway transitioned to a consultant role.

"I've enjoyed the relationship with the Broncos for a long, long time," Elway told 9News. "I told Greg I'd be happy to be a resource for him and help in any way that I can. I just wanted the flexibility. They're in great hands. I still plan on being around to watch and be a resource for Greg or George, if I can."

The move closes a storied chapter for Elway and the Broncos. He won three Super Bowls during his 28 years with the franchise -- two titles as a quarterback and another as a GM -- and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"I've been with the Denver Broncos for so long that it was nice to have some sort of connection, which is what I wanted," Elway told 9News about his consultant position. "I didn't want an obligation. I'm getting a little older, I want to be able to do some things I haven't done. I'm ready to have a flexible schedule."

Reuters contributed to this report.