As the first- and third-longest tenured Broncos players, kicker Brandon McManus and left tackle Garett Bolles have seen the years-long tumult about the franchise’s future ownership.
They are now glad that issue is close to resolution.
The Broncos agreed to a sale agreement late Tuesday with a group led by Rob Walton, Carrie Walton-Penner, Greg Penner and Mellody Hobson for a sports team-record $4.65 billion.
“I’m glad it’s behind us,” Bolles said after the Broncos’ organized team activity Thursday. “We’ll have a phenomenal group of people that are going to run this organization, from Mr. Walton to Mr. and Mrs. Penner.
“You’ve seen what they’ve done with Walmart and what a great organization they are and how they’ve changed so many people’s lives with job opportunities to being big in the community. These are the people I sort of wanted (to buy the team) because I feel like they’re going to come in here and do what it takes to get back to where we need to be and build this organization.”
The Broncos are in the midst of five consecutive losing seasons and a six-year playoff drought.
McManus, who joined the Broncos in 2014, is the only player from their last Super Bowl-winning team.
“To me, it’s great to get some clarity,” McManus said. “We have someone in place to lead and to follow.”
On Wednesday, Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis met with players and coaches, providing background information on the new ownership group.
“It’s a very impressive group and I’m looking forward to meeting them,” said Bolles, who has played for the Broncos since 2017.
Bolles saluted the Bowlen family, which bought the Broncos in 1984.
“I love the Bowlen family dearly,” he said. “They changed this whole city and changed this organization. I know the Walton-Penner group will definitely come in here and take what the Bowlen family has done and run with it and build it and I’m looking forward to all of the amazing things we’re going to accomplish on and off the field.”
Bolles was impressed with Rob Walton’s enthusiastic statement about his initial foray into professional sports.
“He’s excited, he loves football, he wants to be a part of football and he wants to put his time into football,” Bolles said. “It just goes to show the things he wants to do and wants to change.”
As the Broncos’ player representative and a member of the NFLPA’s Executive Committee, McManus remains in the loop on the financial side of football and called the sale price “great value” with a chuckle.
“That’s the nature of this business,” McManus said. “Baseball used to be ‘America’s Game,’ and I don’t think it’s anywhere close (to matching football) now. Football prints money. The values of these teams will continue to skyrocket.”
If approached by the new owners, McManus won’t be shy about providing his insight.
“Whatever they need from me,” he said. “Just as a sounding board, I have no problem giving my opinion, whether it’s right, wrong or indifferent. They write my checks to make field goals and that’s what I’ll continue to do, but if I can help in any way through the transition here, I’ll be doing that.”
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