Denver Broncos executive John Elway, who was the Broncos' top football decision-maker since 2011, announced earlier this month he was turning over the day-to-day operations of the team to a full-time general manager. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The Denver Broncos have hired George Paton to be the organization's next general manager.
Paton, who spent the past 13 years with the Minnesota Vikings, agreed to a six-year deal to become the Broncos' general manager, according to ESPN and NFL Media. Denver announced Paton's hiring Wednesday, but the team didn't disclose terms of the agreement.
Paton spent most of Tuesday in Denver for what was a second interview with the franchise, according to ESPN. He returned to Minnesota on Tuesday night.
"Early in this process, it became clear why George has been such a coveted GM candidate for so many years," Broncos president of football operations John Elway said in a 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."
Elway, who was the Broncos' top football decision-maker since 2011, announced earlier this month he was turning over the day-to-day operations of the team to a full-time general manager. He said he would remain as president of football operations at least through the final year of his current contract.
Denver also interviewed New Orleans Saints assistant general manager Terry Fontenot, Chicago Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly, Broncos director of college scouting Brian Stark and the New England Patriots' Dave Ziegler.
The Broncos finished with a 5-11 record this season. Denver has missed the playoffs in five consecutive seasons since winning Super Bowl 50 in the 2015-16 campaign.
The Cleveland Browns won the AFC Wild Card
game against the Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 in a nearly empty Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo