When most reminisce about John Elway, they think of his marvelous swan song.

Elway's trade demands worked out. Will they work out for Culter?

Elway's trade demands worked out. Will they work out for Culter?

The gutsy helicopter touchdown run at the goal line, the victory laps around the stadium, the giant teeth glistening in the lights as he hoisted the trophy. One of the most glorious send offs of all time in sports made Elway’s NFL beginnings an afterthought.

Since Elway’s departure, the Broncos haven’t found anyone to fill his big shoes. Brian Griese was … well, Brian Griese. Jake Plummer showed flashes, but is now pursuing a professional handball career. Jay Cutler? He might have the talent, but he might also have another intangible many have forgotten when it comes to the story of Elway.

It was Elway who pioneered the manipulation of the draft. As the shoe-in No. 1 pick in the 1983 draft, Elway decided he didn’t want to play for the team that held the top pick – the Baltimore Colts. The Colts were 2-22-1 over the past two seasons and a team without direction looking for a franchise quarterback. Elway made it clear that wasn’t going to happen.

The Colts called his bluff and chose Elway anyway. After all, a player can’t manipulate a draft right? Elway, who was also a standout baseball player, threatened to play for the Yankees if he wasn’t traded. This time the Colts gave in.

The result? Two Super Bowls for the Broncos. For the Colts? Mike Pagel, Jack Trudeau, Chris Chandler, and Jeff George.

Or will Cutler end up Plummer's handball partner this season?

Or will Cutler end up Plummer's handball partner this season?

Elway paved the way for other malcontents like Bo Jackson, Steve Francis, and Eli Manning to manipulate future drafts.

We will see if Cutler, who has said he has a better arm than Elway, will follow in his predecessor’s footsteps. Not on the football field, but by demanding a trade to get out of Denver after getting his feelings hurt by new head coach Josh McDaniels.

My guess is the Broncos will call his bluff. Why deal one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, a tough thing to find?

And if Denver doesn’t trade him and he refuses to play? I know Plummer is looking for a handball teammate.
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