In the aftermath of Super Bowl 50 it’s hard not to think back to the significance of events that took place two years ago in New York. It was there that Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, coming off a humbling Super Bowl drumming at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, began to plot. His team had been the toast of the NFL until that harrowing night in The Big Apple – and Elway didn’t much like what he’d seen.
The result was a free-agency splash for the ages. T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware and Emmanuel Sanders were all brought in. With everybody telling him he had to build through the draft, Elway had the guts to to go with his, well, gut. After the Broncos’ 24-10 dismantling of the 17-1 Carolina Panthers it’s fair to say he has been proven right.
We have a big story about Elway in this issue, on how a Hall of Fame quarterback built one of the all-time great defenses, but we also have hope for all fans hoping to feel like Denver’s supporters this time next year. Gridiron has broken down the big off-season issues for every team ahead of free-agency, so go ahead and find out why your boys will be lifting the Lombardi next year…
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For now, here are some goodies to whet your appetite:
Newton didn’t act the right way in the moments after the biggest disappointment of his career and showed little, if any, class. – Neil Reynolds was unimpressed by Cam Newton’s performance… both during and after Super Bowl 50.
After deliberating, Elway handed in his card. ‘Miller, Von. Texas A&M’. The first decision, like many of the others that have followed it in the last five years, was a masterstroke. – Gridiron editor Matthew Sherry on how a Denver quarterback from yesteryear should take the credit for the Broncos’ success.
There is no off-season! – Ahead of the free-agency period, Gridiron gives you the lowdown on each franchise and assesses areas they will need target over the coming weeks.
Playing the franchise card is always tricky; even if you say you want to get a long-term deal done, it can stand in the way. – Mike Carlson assess the forthcoming free-agency frenzy.
“Binjimen Victor was the last one, and we kept waiting for it to come and he kept saying he sent it. Zach Smith [Wide receivers coach] had been sitting there for about five minutes and then somebody figured out we were out of paper. All we could do was laugh about it.” – Ohio State’s director of player personnel Mark Pantoni reflects on a last-minute hitch during college football’s National Signing Day.