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DENVER (KDVR) — The structure of the Broncos shifted Monday as John Elway relinquished his duties as General Manger, “moving up” he says to focus on his duties as president of football operations. In addition Matt Russell announced he would retire. 

Elway explained that he would oversee the hiring of the new General Manager, casting a “wide net” for the person who will control the roster and run free agency.

There are currently seven NFL teams looking for a General Manager: Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Football Team.

So who is on Elway’s short list?

Experienced GMs

  • Thomas Dimitroff: Named NFL Executive of the Year twice, the Atlanta Falcons dismissed Dimitroff this season. Hired in 2008, Dimitroff lead the Falcons to Super Bowl LI. During his tenure, he drafted players such as Julio Jones and Matt Ryan.
  • Rick Smith: Serving as the Broncos director of player personal (2000-2005), Smith was then hired by the Houston Texans as their general manager. Smith drafted players such as DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, and J.J. Watt, before stepping away in 2017 after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Ties to the Broncos

  • Champ Kelly: Currently working for the Chicago Bears (2015-present) as assistant director of player personnel, Kelly has strong ties to the Broncos (2007-2014) working his way up from regional scout to assistant director of pro personnel. Kelly joined the Chicago Bears in 2015 as director of pro scouting and is now currently the assistant director of pro personnel. While in Chicago, Kelly worked with Vic Fangio, now head coach for the Broncos. He was a finalist for the Jets position last season.
  • Adam Peters: Peters is the currently the vice president of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers. Prior, he worked for the Broncos (2009-2016) as a regional scout, moving up the ranks to director of college scouting. Peters was highly coveted by the Broncos before leaving the organization to join former Broncos player and now general manager of the 49ers John Lynch.
  • John Spytek: Working as a regional scout for the Broncos (2013-2016), Spytek is currently the director of player personnel for the Buccaneers. He worked under John Elway during Super Bowl 50.

Wild Cards

  • Gary Kubiak: The former Broncos head coach is reportedly set to retire as Vikings offensive coordinator. We know he has a long friendship with John Elway. Would he want to move from the field to the executive role? Remember that he left the Broncos in 2016 due to health concerns. 
  • Peyton Manning: Who wouldn’t want the former NFL quarterback to oversee the Broncos? The question is does he want the job? He saw first hand the work that needs to be done by watching his former boss John Elway. Or does he have other ideas for post football work such as on tv-star or even owning a team. Pulling himself away from home and the golf course will be tricky.

Others to Keep an Eye On

  • Mike Borgonzi: Chiefs director of football operations (2018-present)
  • John Dorsey: Current consultant for the Eagles, Chiefs general manager (2013-2016), Browns general manager (2017-2019)
  • Louis Riddick: Former Eagles director of pro personnel, current ESPN analyst.