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Woody Paige: The moves John Elway will make to go all in in 2017

March 5, 2017 Updated: March 5, 2017 at 9:40 pm
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FILE- In this Jan. 12, 2017, file photo, Denver Broncos general manager John Elway responds to questions during a news conference at the team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The NFL is considering making referees full-time employees and centralizing replay review at its New York headquarters as it aims for more consistent, shorter games, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The NFL is considering making referees full-time employees and centralizing replay review at its New York headquarters as it aims for more consistent, shorter games, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Elway, a member of the competition committee, said the caveat is that these referees have successful careers outside of football and they may not want to give up their day jobs. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Like James Bond in "Casino Royale,'' John Elway is going all in.

His teams - and they are undeniably Elway's Broncos - reached the Super Bowl in the 2013 and 2015 seasons.

In 2017, the next odd year, Elway will not tolerate another 9-7 record (and no postseason) or another one-and-done playoffs.

The past season was a complete mess, with Peyton Manning's retirement, Brock Osweiler's defection, the failure to attract a high-quality veteran quarterback, the loss of two primary defensive players to free agency, the offensive line deficiencies, critical injuries at running back and linebacker, the inadequacies of two young quarterbacks and a head coach who was "miserable.''

Mistakes were made. Heads rolled.

In his 23rd season with the Broncos as player and executive, the 57-year-old Elway has a new offensive coordinator, a new defensive coordinator, 10 draft choices and $42 million in spending money. He wants his eighth Super Bowl.

As someone who has been around John since he was a kid in 1983, I know that The Duke's such a fierce competitor he won't get into a poker game or an NFL game with scared cash, unexceptional young quarterbacks and a rookie left tackle.

Elway is not playing for 2018. No bluff.

First, Elway will go after Tony Romo, just as he recruited Manning to Denver. It is well to remember that Romo's representative, and trusted friend, is Tom Condon, the same agent Manning had.

Elway will lure Romo to the Broncos with the hope of finishing his career with one or two Super Bowls, a guaranteed offer of two seasons (and a third year team option) - with $10 million-$12 million annually (including a signing bonus, and incentives that could raise the salary to $15 million), one of the premier defenses in football, an outstanding receiving corps, a new, improved offensive line, veteran offensive coaches and a proud franchise with a championship history, the best fans in the land and a great city.

Elway doesn't forget that Romo scored 48 points in his last start against the Broncos, or that he was 15-4 in 2013-14 before being injured (the first time). He will remind Romo that Elway himself, and Manning, both played in four Super Bowls in their late 30s (and won three).

The executive vice president of football operations will sign former Cowboys starting offensive guard Ronald Leary, who started 31 games in two seasons with Romo. He also will get free agent right tackle Ricky Wagner, late of the Ravens, and left tackle Kelvin Beachum (Jaguars) to play with '17 Pro Bowl center Matt Paradis (recovered from double hip surgery) and right guard Connor McGovern.

Romo will have Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at wide receivers, a healthy C.J. Anderson in the backfield along with Devontae Booker, and a No. 1 draft pick who will be runner-slot receiver-returner Christian McCaffrey or tight end O.J. Howard.

On defense inside linebacker Brandon Marshall will return from injury to join starters Von Miller, Shane Ray, Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., T.J. Ward, Darian Stewart, Derek Wolfe - and Bradley Roby, Shaq Barrett, Will Parks, Justin Simmons and Adam Gotsis and the newly signed Bobby Richardson. The Broncos will add free agents Brandon Williams (nose tackle, Ravens), Zach Brown (inside linebacker, Bills) and Calais Campbell (defensive end, Cardinals).

After signing Romo, the Broncos will trade Trevor Siemian - possibly to Buffalo, where ex-Broncos coach Rick Dennison is the offensive coordinator.

With their 11 selections in the draft, the Broncos can be expected to choose primarily players interviewed at the NFL combine the past week.

If the Broncos take McCaffrey in the first round, they'll draft a tight end in the second - Evan Engram (Ole Miss). If they go with Howard at 20, they'll grab Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara at 51.

Third round: (82), Isaac Asiata, guard-center, Utah; (101), Elijah Qualls, nose tackle, Washington.

Fourth round: (127), Marquez White, cornerback, Florida State.

Fifth round: (177) Zack Banner, tackle, USC.

Sixth round (203) Josh Dobbs, quarterback, Tennessee.

Seventh round (238) Harvey Langi, defensive end, BYU; (252) Ryan Switzer, wide receiver, North Carolina; (253), Jalen Robinette, wide receiver, Air Force Academy.

And that's John Elway's all-in "Casino Royale" Super Bowl team.

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