Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Elway's Exit Signs QB Says It's Time for Change

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Elway's Exit Signs QB Says It's Time for Change

Article excerpt

DENVER -- John Elway is ready to join Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky in retirement -- the third transcendent athlete to leave his game in the last four months.

The peerless Denver Broncos quarterback, the architect of a record 47 game-saving drives, told friends he has had enough after 16 seasons of pro football, sources close to Elway told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Elway, playing in a golf tournament at Pebble Beach, Calif., wouldn't talk about a retirement announcement when contacted at the resort by an Associated Press reporter.

"I know everybody wants to know, but I'm not going to talk about it right now," Elway said last night on his way to appear at a private dinner. "There'll be an announcement next week. That's all I have to say about it for now."

But Elway all but announced his retirement during an interview earlier yesterday with Denver TV station KCNC.

"For so many years everything in my family has revolved around me. It's time for that to change," Elway said in the interview. "I really accomplished everything I wanted to. There's no real upside to coming back."

His announcement could come as early as tomorrow, but KCNC said it could be delayed to Wednesday so as to let more time pass since the school shootings at a suburban Littleton high school.

Elway reportedly considered announcing his decision last week but delayed it, first because Broncos owner Pat Bowlen was out of town and then because of the shootings.

"I've talked to him and he told me what he's going to do," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said yesterday. "But I'm not going to comment."

Bowlen did not return a phone call.

Elway, 38, the winningest and perhaps most durable quarterback in NFL history, won his second consecutive Super Bowl title and the MVP award in his final game on Jan. 31.

So, he is leaving on top, just like Jordan, who hit the championship-winning shot for the Chicago Bulls against the Utah Jazz last June. Jordan announced his retirement in January and Gretzky played his final NHL game last Sunday.

Shanahan has said that if his Hall of Fame-bound quarterback retired, he would be confident turning to veteran Bubby Brister as his new starter. …

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