In December 2010, Elway expressed interest in working as the Broncos' top football executive, after having dinner with Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. However, he expressed no interest in being a head coach or general manager after Josh McDaniels' firing, saying, "I'm not interested in being a head coach. I'm not interested in being a general manager. I don't have that kind of experience to be able to pick those players day in and day out and such."
On January 5, 2011, Elway was named general manager and executive vice president of football operations of the Broncos, with the final say in all football matters. In this capacity, he reported to team president Joe Ellis and was the immediate supervisor for the head coach of the team. General manager Brian Xanders was actually retained, but served mostly in an advisory role to Elway. Xanders left the team after the 2011 season, and Elway assumed the role of general manager which gave him complete control over the football side of the Broncos operation.
Elway tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020, and returned to the team on November 12. Following the 2020 season, Elway announced that he would step down as general manager but continue to serve as the Broncos' president of football operations. He was succeeded as general manager by George Paton. 2b1af7f3a8