The Broncos announced Paton's hiring but did not disclose terms. Paton has no real past ties to Denver, having spent the last 14 seasons in Minnesota following early front-office stints in Chicago and Miami. He agreed to a six-year deal, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations.
The Broncos have not reached the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl in the 2015 season, and have lacked stability at quarterback since Peyton Manning retired after the championship run.
The team faces contract option decisions on linebacker Von Miller and Kareem Jackson and Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons is scheduled to be among the team's unrestricted free agents. A decision about the plan at quarterback also is among the front-burner issues for the Broncos.
The team has one of the youngest rosters in the league, enough salary cap room to participate in the open market and Elway and team president and CEO Joe Ellis each promised in recent days the new general manager would have "the resources" to make improvements. "We're thrilled to name George Paton as general manager of the Denver Broncos". "For me, it is the right place and the right time for this opportunity", Paton said in a statement.
"Paton added: ". Drafting and developing players is the No. 1 priority.
When Elway announced his decision to seek a GM while maintaining his position as president of football operations, it was noted that the new general manager would lead the personnel and football staff. Paton will have final say on the draft, free agency and the roster, per Elway's January 4 statement. Paton turned down an interview from the Chiefs later in 2017, rebuffed interest from the Jets in 2019, and past year, he met with the Browns - who'd just hired former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as head coach - before withdrawing from that race.
The Lions have interviewed 12 candidates for their general manager position, and are now hosting Rams college scouting director Brad Holmes in town for a second interview.