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Broncos nab new GM George Paton with 6-year contract

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  • Broncos nab new GM George Paton with 6-year contract

    Broncos nab new GM George Paton with 6-year contract
    Author: Mike Klis
    Published: 10:44 AM MST January 13, 2021
    Updated: 3:02 PM MST January 13, 2021

    Said Paton on Broncos: "In many ways, I feel like this team is a sleeping giant."


    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After a long day at Broncos headquarters -- an in-person interview that included meet-and-greats with all the team dignitaries from a masked-up social distance and a tour of the team's facilities -- it was time for general manager candidate George Paton to break bread with the team's inner circle.

    Dinner reservations were made for 6 p.m. Tuesday at -- where else? -- Elway's Steakhouse in Cherry Creek. One member of the Broncos' four-man search committee, chief executive officer Joe Ellis, stayed behind to negotiate a contract with Paton's Chicago-based agent, Bryan Harlan.

    Paton (pronounced Peyton) had a wedge salad and 12 ounce New York strip. The man he was about to replace as the Broncos' GM and the restaurant's namesake, John Elway, ordered a steak. Broncos' chief communications officer Patrick Smyth had an 8 ounce filet mignon. Broncos head coach Vic Fangio ordered a burger. (Hey, the Elway burger is recognized as one of the best in town, if not the best).

    By the time dinner finished up around 8:30 p.m., the party of four knew Paton was the Broncos' new GM. He flew out of Centennial a little after 9 p.m. and back to his soon-to-be-former Minneapolis-area home. A six-year contract was finalized Wednesday morning and the announcement was made.

    "All the candidates were great,'' Elway said in a phone interview with 9News. "We just felt George was the best fit for us."

    New England's Dave Ziegler, New Orleans' Terry Fontenot (the runner-up choice), Chicago's Champ Kelly and the Broncos' own Brian Stark were the other finalists. Ziegler withdrew Sunday after he got a sweetened offer from coach Bill Belichick to stay in New England. Elway called the other three finalists Wednesday morning to thank them, compliment them and tell them of his decision to go with Paton.

    "I really appreciated John reaching out like that,'' Stark said. "He was very complimentary and it was a good conversation. I was thankful he gave me the opportunity to get in front of him.''

    Paton, 51, succeeds Elway as the man in charge of constructing the Broncos’ 53-man roster through trades, free-agent signings, draft picks, waiver claims and managing the team’s payroll.

    "It is an honor to be named general manager of an iconic franchise with a championship tradition like the Denver Broncos,'' Paton said in a statement. His visit Tuesday included a private one-hour meeting with Brittany Bowlen, daughter of the Broncos' late Hall of Fame owner Pat Bowlen.

    She talked about her father's commitment to winning, her own aspirations -- it's well known Brittany wants to one day succeed her father as the Broncos' controlling owner -- and living in Colorado.

    "This organization has great resources, tremendous people, a talented young core of players and an outstanding coaching staff,'' Paton continued in his his statement. "In many ways, I feel like this team is a sleeping giant. For me, it is the right place and the right time for this opportunity. Throughout this process, I felt a real connection with Joe, John and Vic. It feels like home. We share the same values on winning and doing things the right way.''

    For the past 14 years, Paton served as the right-hand man of Vikings’ general manager Rick Spielman. They had six playoff appearances and two NFC Championship Game appearances in those 14 years but never reached the Super Bowl.

    Elway had been the Broncos’ GM the past 10 years and while he had five AFC West titles in his first five years with two Super Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl 50 title, his teams have fallen into a historic, four-year slump in which it posted a 23-41 record.

    Elway remains as the Broncos’ president of football operations, but after leading a four-man search committee to find his replacement, he has promised to ease back into a consultant role.

    "Early in this process, it became clear why George has been such a coveted GM candidate for so many years,'' Elway said in his statement. "He is a proven evaluator who knows every detail of leading football operations. With his experience in all aspects of the job-the college and pro sides, salary cap, trades, working with the head coach and bringing the staff together-George is more than ready to succeed in this role. George has waited and worked for the right opportunity, which shows that he is smart and serious about winning. We're thrilled to name George Paton as general manager of the Denver Broncos."

    Fontenot got a second remote interview Tuesday morning with the Broncos. He finished up as Paton -- who by far was the most qualified experienced in terms of decision-making experience -- was visiting Broncos headquarters for his second interview that would be conducted in person. He took a POC COVID test -- as did all Broncos employees who came in contact with him Tuesday -- and even carried a contact tracer on him throughout the day.

    Now that he has the job, Paton's first task will be to interview personnel employees currently on the Broncos' staff. Besides Elway, the Broncos must also replace his long-time top deputy Matt Russell, who retired from his position as director of player personnel. It would be a surprise if Paton did not make a diversity hire for his No. 2 front office position.

    Paton had been close to receiving a GM position with several other teams before. Among the selling points Denver had is it brings him, his wife Barbara and children Bella and Beau closer to his hometown in Southern California.

    "I believe in hard work, the grind and not taking any shortcuts to achieve our goals'' Paton said. "Drafting and developing players is the No. 1 priority. We will be aggressive-but not reckless-in adding talent to our roster.

    "Our family has heard nothing but great things about Colorado, especially the passionate fans in Broncos Country. Along with my wife Barbara and children Bella and Beau, we are proud to now call Denver our home.

    "I can't wait to get to work. Go Broncos!"

    source:https://www.9news.com/article/sports...6-d56f1d2c088c

    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016
    2021 Adopted Bronco: Von Miller

  • #2
    Interesting that he had a private 1 hour meeting with Brittany Bowlen.

    Comment


    • #3
      Whelp, he got "Broncos Country" correct, that settles it.

      Welcome to the team, George!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post
        Interesting that he had a private 1 hour meeting with Brittany Bowlen.
        It’s a 6 year contract, he wants longevity and a new owner or present controlling owner would have to buy out the rest of his contract if they want to go a different route in the near future.

        Paton had to make sure Britney agreed to such since she’s the supposed beneficiary of the team.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don’t know enough about the GM candidates to truly know if this is a good hire or not. By most accounts, he is well respected and considered a solid hire. I’ll go with that for now.

          But I do appreciate how professionally the hiring process went. The Broncos announced , searched and hired a reported top candidate in just a few weeks. They didn’t make a spectacle of the process. They didn’t waver or delay.

          Now we wait to see the direction taken by our new GM and the team. There are a lot of critical decisions to be made this off-season. Going to be interesting to see how they move forward with fresh leadership.

          Good luck to him. Go Broncos!

          Comment


          • #6
            Been watching just about every interview I can find from non-radical sources. Everyone seems to agree that this was a really good hire. Paton has a lot of experience and has been a part of a lot of success.

            It was not all roses and peaches...there were some concerns. It is about as positive as one can expect imo
            Time to build on the win and grow the team from some solid play higher level of play

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hadez View Post
              Been watching just about every interview I can find from non-radical sources. Everyone seems to agree that this was a really good hire. Paton has a lot of experience and has been a part of a lot of success.

              It was not all roses and peaches...there were some concerns. It is about as positive as one can expect imo
              I wouldn’t base my opinion on wether he was a good hire or not depending on the interviews of others.

              Just look at the Minnesota Vikings, what have they done in the last 10 years? Have they been all that great?

              The Broncos should’ve hired Chris Shea away from Kansas City, that was the guy that would’ve taken our franchise to the next level.

              If Vic really was involved, then it would’ve been his boy from Chicago but it wasn’t.

              George Paton may turn out to be a good hire but the hire has John Elway written all over it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sam_Z View Post

                I wouldn’t base my opinion on wether he was a good hire or not depending on the interviews of others.

                Just look at the Minnesota Vikings, what have they done in the last 10 years? Have they been all that great?

                The Broncos should’ve hired Chris Shea away from Kansas City, that was the guy that would’ve taken our franchise to the next level.

                If Vic really was involved, then it would’ve been his boy from Chicago but it wasn’t.

                George Paton may turn out to be a good hire but the hire has John Elway written all over it.
                Why are you blaming Paton for decisions made by another?

                He wasn’t the GM.

                Belichick is a great coach. Bill O’Brien is the most successful of Belichick assistants who became a head coach. The jury is still out on Brian Flores.

                Ryan Pace was in New Orleans before going to Chicago. How’s that working out for the Bears?

                It’s ridiculous how many mediocre to bad coaches or general managers get jobs just because they happened to be affiliated with a good team prior to being hired.
                My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
                You Mad Bro?
                Don’t Be A Mean Girl

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sam_Z View Post

                  I wouldn’t base my opinion on wether he was a good hire or not depending on the interviews of others.

                  Just look at the Minnesota Vikings, what have they done in the last 10 years? Have they been all that great?

                  The Broncos should’ve hired Chris Shea away from Kansas City, that was the guy that would’ve taken our franchise to the next level.

                  If Vic really was involved, then it would’ve been his boy from Chicago but it wasn’t.

                  George Paton may turn out to be a good hire but the hire has John Elway written all over it.
                  One of the interviews you would not have watched had a really interesting point.

                  Really knowing what decisions each of these candidates actually has in the process of building the team is not really known by most of the world. Sure Minn did this or KC did that but what role did Paton play? What role did Shea play?

                  I can see why you do not like watching NFL people talk about this...they pretty all think this was a great hire...you seem to want to think this is some kind of "Elway" move ...whatever that is.
                  Time to build on the win and grow the team from some solid play higher level of play

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Paton getting to work:

                    https://www.denverbroncos.com/news/b...e-five-players
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Kudos to the new GM for trying to get Stafford.

                      Lions appear to be looking more long term than short term.

                      That could be why they didn’t want two top ten picks in the same year.
                      My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
                      You Mad Bro?
                      Don’t Be A Mean Girl

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bucs sign Fournette for $2M on a one year contract. Broncos sign Gordon on a 2 year for $8M a year. The staff at the Bucs seem pretty sharp. Curious how/if their GM and coaches are working together, or if it's more one guy steering the ship? Paton might be a sharp GM, but if he's handcuffed by Elway's decision making and Fangio's player selections, the team will still go nowhere.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DiveInstructor View Post
                          Bucs sign Fournette for $2M on a one year contract. Broncos sign Gordon on a 2 year for $8M a year. The staff at the Bucs seem pretty sharp. Curious how/if their GM and coaches are working together, or if it's more one guy steering the ship? Paton might be a sharp GM, but if he's handcuffed by Elway's decision making and Fangio's player selections, the team will still go nowhere.
                          This is a good point. It makes sense why the Stafford deal wasn't done. My question is what has Paton been doing? He wasn't at the Senior Bowl which I feel was a huge mistake; especially as a brand new GM. He certainly can't expect the Denver scouts to do the work for him and trust them explicitly to do a great job. What am I not understanding about Paton's visibility or lack of?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When Gordon joined Denver, Fournette was still a Jaguar, and JAX hadn't declined his option.

                            DEN singed Gordon on March 20th, 2020.
                            JAX declined Fournette's 5th-year option on May 1st, 2020.
                            JAX waived Fournette on August 31st, 2020.
                            TB signed Fournette on September 2nd, 2020.

                            Examining events in their context usually helps.

                            Comment

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