Guest of the League
Appleton Papermakers Blue Est. 2004
FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Broncos to honor Bowlen in myriad ways in 2019

Mon Jun 17 5:56pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

Joe Ellis, president and chief executive officer of the Denver Broncos, talks about the death of team owner Pat Bowlen during a news conference Monday, June 17, 2019, at the NFL football team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Joe Ellis, president and chief executive officer of the Denver Broncos, talks about the death of team owner Pat Bowlen during a news conference Monday, June 17, 2019, at the NFL football team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


John Elway, general manager of the Denver Broncos, talks about the death of team owner Pat Bowlen during a news conference Monday, June 17, 2019, at the NFL football team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The Denver Broncos are planning several ways to honor team owner Pat Bowlen , who died last week at 75 after a long battle with Alzheimer's just two months shy of his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Renaming their stadium in his honor isn't one of those.

The team has lacked a naming rights partner for several years, and an online effort pushed by Broncos broadcast partner Orange & Blue 760 called for fans to sign a petition asking the team to rename the stadium ''Pat Bowlen Field at Mile High.''

''I don't think he would want that. So, I don't think we're going to do that,'' team president and CEO Joe Ellis said Monday. ''We've honored him with a statue, with a Ring of Fame pillar, his plaque on the Ring of Fame. We'll do some things this season to honor him. But if we were to put his name on the stadium, I can remember him when he knew I was off-track saying, `Joe, just a second.'

''And I think that would be his reaction. Probably there are people who would disagree, and I respect that. But for now that is not something that would be in our plans.''

The team will hold a public tribute Tuesday at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

''It's kind of cool, we're setting up a museum walkway that has a lot of his personal and Broncos memorabilia, and then at the end of the line is a tribute to him where members of the public can pay their respects to his family,'' Ellis said. ''All family members will be there tomorrow between the hours of 10 and 3. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a nice send-off for Pat.''

Ellis said the Broncos also will wear an orange and blue ''Mr. B.'' decal on their helmets this season. Bowlen's memory also will be honored before the regular-season home opener against Chicago and again in October on the same day fellow Hall of Fame inductee Champ Bailey is added to the team's Ring of Honor.

Ellis said it was important to give fans that chance because so few can attend the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 3.

He said the public outpouring of support from fellow owners, former players and coaches and from fans is proof that the team made the right call in putting together the five-hour public stadium tribute, which will be followed by a private funeral next Monday.

In reflecting on Bowlen's legacy, Ellis called him ''a really good friend, a great mentor, and he was a great boss.''

Ellis said that although Bowlen was famously shy and known publicly as a man of few words, ''I've got to tell you he was a great communicator,'' one who would check in often whenever he was away on league business.

''He just loved to stay in touch. He needed to know what was going on and what that did for me was let me know that he was paying attention,'' Ellis said.

''He ran this football team with his heart and not his pocketbook,'' said general manager John Elway.

That was something Ellis could attest to.

''He wanted to rip up everybody's contract all the time to give them more money,'' Ellis said, laughing.

Ellis said Bowlen's widow, Annabel, who also is suffering from Alzheimer's, visited team headquarters Friday afternoon shortly after her husband died. ''She just wanted to see Pat's office,'' Ellis said.

Ownership of the franchise is held in a trust Bowlen set up more than a decade ago in hopes one of his seven children will one day run the team. Although daughter Brittany is hoping to one day take over, the succession plan and the trustees' oversight of Bowlen's estate has been challenged in state district court in the last year by some members of the Bowlen family.

''Nothing has changed,'' Ellis said. ''Pat prepared himself for this day, planned ahead for this day. The trustees are going to follow Pat's plan. I'm going to carry out what Pat asked me to do and honor what he asked me to do and that's really as much as I would say at this time.''

Elway said nothing changes from his perspective, either.

''I've got 100 percent trust in what the trust is doing and the plan that Joe's put together and the plan that Pat put together knowing this was coming down. I've got 100 percent confidence that this organization is going to continue to stand on its feet. Whatever direction that may be, it'll be the right direction.''

Elway did allow that Bowlen's death reinforces the urgency for him to reverse the slide that took the Broncos from Super Bowl champs three years ago to a team that posted double digit losses each of the last two seasons.

''No. 1, we've got to get it turned around, and No. 2, with Pat, thinking about Pat, it's his memory,'' Elway said. ''There's no question there's more motivation to get this thing turned around.''

Player Notes
Travis Benjamin Aug 5 9:23am ET

San Francisco 49ers WR Travis Benjamin has opted out of the 2020 season.

From TheHuddle

Maxx Williams Aug 4 6:33pm ET

Arizona Cardinals TE Maxx Williams (undisclosed) passed his physical Tuesday, Aug. 4, and was taken off the Physically Unable to Perform list.

From TheHuddle

D.J. Hayden Aug 4 6:33pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars DB D.J. Hayden (knee) passed his physical and was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Ukeme Eligwe Aug 4 6:23pm ET

Updating a previous story, Las Vegas Raiders LB Ukeme Eligwe was placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Allen Hurns Aug 4 6:23pm ET

Updating a previous story, Miami Dolphins WR Allen Hurns was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Aug 4 6:13pm ET

Updating previous stories, free-agent RB LeSean McCoy (Chiefs) officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Vincent Taylor Aug 4 6:03pm ET

Buffalo Bills DT Vincent Taylor was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Devontae Booker Aug 4 6:03pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders RB Devontae Booker was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

P.J. Hall Aug 4 5:43pm ET

Updating a previous story, Las Vegas Raiders DT P.J. Hall was released after failing his physical with the Minnesota Vikings and the trade was nullified.

From TheHuddle

Trenton Cannon Aug 4 5:23pm ET

New York Jets RB Trenton Cannon was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Ukeme Eligwe Aug 4 5:23pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders LB Ukeme Eligwe opted out of the 2020 season Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Mohamed Sanu Aug 4 5:13pm ET

New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (undisclosed) passed his physical and was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Sanu won't warrant much fantasy consideration heading into the season regardless of who is under center for the Patriots. He may become a streaming option later in the year.

From TheHuddle

P.J. Hall Aug 4 5:03pm ET

Oakland Raiders DT P.J. Hall (undisclosed) failed his physical with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, Aug. 4, and reverts back to the Raiders. They intend to cut him.

From TheHuddle

Cordrea Tankersley Aug 4 4:43pm ET

Miami Dolphins CB Cordrea Tankersley was waived Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Jimmy Garoppolo Aug 4 4:23pm ET

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo provided an update on his knee Tuesday, Aug. 4, saying the difference has been night-and-day from last season and 'it's able to do whatever it needs to do.'

Fantasy Spin: Garoppolo didn't seem to be hindered too severely while guiding the Niners to the Super Bowl, and he has never provided much in terms of fantasy contributions via rushing yards. Perhaps an improved ability to scramble would help him cut back on last season's 13 interceptions. He should be viewed as a low-end QB1 or high-end QB2.

From TheHuddle

Allen Hurns Aug 4 4:13pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR Allen Hurns opted out of the 2020 season amid COVID-19 concerns Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to head coach Brian Flores.

Fantasy Spin: Hurns had been penciled in as the starter opposite DeVante Parker. Look for Preston Williams to play a larger following his surprising rookie season as an undrafted free agent.

From TheHuddle

Matthew Stafford Aug 4 4:13pm ET

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford was removed from the COVID-19 list and placed back onto the active roster Tuesday, Aug. 4. His positive test for COVID-19 was determined to be a false-positive.

Fantasy Spin: Any concern over his status and availability for the regular season should be gone. He's a strong target as a low-end QB1.

From TheHuddle

Rashaad Penny Aug 4 2:53pm ET

Seattle Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny (knee) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Ben Roethlisberger Aug 4 1:10pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told ESPN reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala that his arm "feels really good" in a Zoom call on Tuesday. Roethlisberger missed almost all of the 2019 season after tearing three flexor tendons in his right elbow. The veteran quarterback also stated that he has thrown way more than usual during the offseason and is in tremendous shape entering his age-38 season. Many signs point to a revitalized Pittsburgh offense this season with Roethlisberger back under center, although there is at least some concern as he's entering his 17th NFL season and has a long injury history. That being said, he's still a huge upgrade on offense over Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges from a year ago. Draft Big Ben as an upside QB2 in fantasy drafts this month.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Ansah Aug 4 1:03pm ET

Free-agent DE Ziggy Ansah (Seahawks) is going through a physical and COVID-19 testing with the San Francisco 49ers Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle