The Denver Broncos are teetering on the brink of a lost season and their first back-to-back losing seasons since 1972.
The biggest news out of Dove Valley this week has been the trade of popular wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. The move shocked and angered Broncos fans and sparked a sobering response from Thomas’ teammate Emmanuel Sanders. Asked on-the-air on The Fan whether or not he wanted to continue to be a Denver Bronco in light of the Thomas trade, Sanders responded with the following:
"“I don’t know. I don’t know,” Sanders said. “We’re going to see. Obviously, I work my butt off, so we’re going to see. All I can focus on right now is the Houston Texans and trying to win that game.”"
This is the atmosphere that Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway has created with the Broncos. The notion that players popular with teammates and fans are a commodity that are subject only to Elway’s assessment has played out poorly.
Sanders further advised fans that they have to remember these instances when players take actions that benefit themselves. The team(s) have no loyalty or sentimental relationship with the products they own. The players can not be expected to be loyal to a team that views them as nothing more than chips in a fixed poker game.
It’s unacceptable that Elway continues to drive the franchise into despair. We can lay the blame most anywhere but with that lofty title John enjoys the buck stops with him. Any deficiency on this team is the direct result of an Elway decision. He is failing the franchise that Pat Bowlen gave everything to make a model of consistency and excellence.
It’s heartbreaking to recall Bowlen declaring “this one’s for John” as he handed the Lombardi trophy to Elway after the Super Bowl 32 victory. Mr. B would not have allowed the winningest franchise in the NFL under his ownership to descend into the current state were he still able to discharge his duties. Elway’s stewardship of the Broncos is in jeopardy, here are three things that can be done: