The Denver Broncos were founded on August 14, 1959, when minor league baseball owner Bob Howsam was awarded an American Football League (AFL) charter franchise. The Broncos won the first-ever AFL game over the Boston Patriots 13–10, on September 9, 1960. Seven years later on August 5, 1967, they became the first-ever AFL team to defeat an NFL team, with a 13–7 win over the Detroit Lions in a preseason game. However, the Broncos were not successful in the 1960s, winning more than five games only once (7–7, 1962), compiling a 39–97–4 (.293) record during the ten seasons of the AFL.
The team began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) and joined the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. The Broncos are currently owned by the Walton-Penner group, and play their home games at Empower Field at Mile High; Denver previously played its home games at Mile High Stadium from its inception in 1960 through the 2000 season.
When the Broncos debuted in 1960, their original uniforms drew were said to have drawn as much attention as their play on the field. They featured white and mustard yellow jerseys, contrasting brown helmets, brown pants, and vertically striped socks. Two years later, the team unveiled a new logo featuring a bucking horse and changed their team colors to orange, royal blue and white. The 1962 uniform consisted of white pants, orange helmets, and either orange or white jerseys.
The Broncos and Patriots met twice annually during the American Football League (AFL) years from 1960 to 1969, and played in the first-ever AFL game on September 9, 1960. Since 1995, the two teams have met frequently during the regular season, including nine consecutive seasons from 1995 to 2003. As of the end of the 2015 season, the two teams have met in the playoffs five times, with the Broncos owning a 4–1 record. The teams' first playoff match on January 4, 1987, was John Elway's first career playoff win, while the teams' second playoff match on January 14, 2006, game was the Broncos' first playoff win since Elway's retirement after the 1998 season. The game was also notable for Champ Bailey's 100-yard interception that resulted in a touchdown-saving tackle by Benjamin Watson at the 1-yard line. On October 11, 2009, the two teams met with former Patriots' offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels as the Broncos' head coach. Both teams wore their AFL 50th anniversary jerseys. The game featured a 98-yard drive in the fourth quarter, with a game-tying touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Brandon Marshall, followed by an overtime drive led by Orton that resulted in a 41-yard game-winning field goal by Matt Prater. The two teams met in the Divisional round of the 2011 playoffs, with the Patriots blowing out Tim Tebow and the Broncos by a score of 45–10. The Broncos' rivalry with the Patriots later intensified when longtime Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning became the Broncos' starting quarterback from 2012 to 2015. Manning and Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady maintained a legendary rivalry from 2001 until Manning's retirement after the 2015 season. Though Brady dominated Manning in regular season play, winning nine of twelve meetings, Manning won three of five playoff meetings, including the Broncos' 26–16 win in the 2013 AFC Championship and the Broncos' 20–18 win in the 2015 AFC Championship.
In 1981, Broncos' owner Gerald Phipps, who had purchased the team in May 1961 from the original owner Bob Howsam, sold the team to Canadian financier Edgar Kaiser Jr., grandson of shipbuilding industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. In 1984, the team was purchased by another Canadian, Pat Bowlen, who placed team ownership into a family trust sometime before 2004 and remained in day-to-day control until his battle with Alzheimer's disease forced him to cede the team to Joe Ellis in 2014.
Denver came close to losing its franchise in 1965, until a local ownership group took control, and rebuilt the team. The team's first superstar, "Franchise" Floyd Little, was instrumental in keeping the team in Denver, due to his signing in 1967 as well as his Pro Bowl efforts on and off the field. The Broncos were the only original AFL team that never played in the title game, as well as the only original AFL team never to have a winning season while a member of the AFL during the upstart league's 10-year history.
For most of their history, the Denver Broncos played in Mile High Stadium. The AFL Broncos played at the University of Denver's Hilltop Stadium from time to time, including the first victory of an AFL team over an NFL team: The Broncos beat the Detroit Lions on August 5, 1967, in a preseason game. The team has sold out every home game (including post-season games) since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, with the exception of two replacement games during the 1987 strike (but both were sold out before the strike).
In 1968, the Broncos debuted a design that became known as "Orange Crush". Their logo was redesigned so that the horse was coming out of a "D". Additionally, the helmets were changed to royal blue, and the sleeves had thin stripes with other minor modifications added. From 1969 to 1971, and again from 1978 to 1979, the team wore orange pants with their white jerseys. In 1975, the face masks were changed to white from grey.
In 1972, the Broncos hired former Stanford University coach John Ralston as their head coach. In 1973, he was the UPI's AFC Coach of the Year, after Denver achieved its first winning season at 7–5–2. In five seasons with the Broncos, Ralston guided the team to three winning seasons. Though Ralston finished the 1976 season with a 9–5 record, the team, as was the case in Ralston's previous winning seasons, still missed the playoffs. Following the season, several prominent players publicly voiced their discontent with Ralston, which soon led to his resignation.
On December 26, with the Broncos sitting at 4–11 following a 51–14 Christmas Day loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Hackett was fired and replaced by interim head coach Jerry Rosburg. Hackett became the fifth head coach to not finish his first season after Lou Holtz in 1976, Pete McCulley in 1978, Bobby Petrino in 2007, and Urban Meyer in 2021. Sean Payton was hired as head coach for the 2023 season.
Red Miller, a long-time assistant coach, was hired and along with the Orange Crush Defense (a nickname originated in 1977, also the brand of the popular orange-flavored soft drink) and aging quarterback Craig Morton, took the Broncos to what was then a record-setting 12–2 regular-season record and their first playoff appearance in 1977, and ultimately made their first Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl XII, in which they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys (Morton's former team), 27–10.
The Broncos were barely competitive during their 10-year run in the AFL and their first seven years in the NFL. They did not have a winning season until 1973 and qualified for their first playoffs in 1977, eventually advancing to Super Bowl XII that season. Since 1975, the Broncos have become one of the NFL's most successful teams, having suffered only eleven losing seasons. They have won eight AFC Championships (1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2013, 2015), and three Super Bowl championships (1997 (XXXII), 1998 (XXXIII), 2015 (50), and share the NFL record for most Super Bowl losses (5 – tied with the New England Patriots). The Broncos have eight primary members enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: John Elway, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, Terrell Davis, Champ Bailey, and Steve Atwater, along with late club owner Pat Bowlen.
The rivalry with the Raiders was ignited in 1977, when the Broncos advanced to their first Super Bowl by defeating the defending champion Raiders in the 1977 AFC Championship. The rivalry intensified in the mid-1990s, when Mike Shanahan was hired as the Broncos' head coach in 1995. Shanahan coached the Raiders in 1988 before being fired four games into the 1989 season. The Raiders currently hold a 70–54–2 series lead over the Broncos, including 1–1 in the playoffs.
Dan Reeves became the youngest head coach in the NFL when he joined the Broncos in 1981 as vice president and head coach. Quarterback John Elway, who played college football at Stanford, arrived in 1983 via a trade. Originally drafted by the Baltimore Colts as the first pick of the draft, Elway proclaimed that he would shun football in favor of baseball (he was drafted by the New York Yankees to play center field and was also a pitching prospect), unless he was traded to a selected list of other teams, which included the Broncos. Prior to Elway, the Broncos had over 24 different starting quarterbacks in its 23 seasons to that point.
The Broncos had a brief rivalry with the Browns that arose from three AFC championship matches in 1986, 1987 and 1989. In the 1986 AFC Championship, quarterback John Elway led The Drive to secure a tie in the waning moments at Cleveland Municipal Stadium; the Broncos went on to win in 23–20 in overtime. One year later, the two teams met again in the 1987 AFC Championship at Mile High Stadium. Denver took a 21–3 lead, but Browns' quarterback Bernie Kosar threw four touchdown passes to tie the game at 31–31 halfway through the 4th quarter. After a long drive, John Elway threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to running back Sammy Winder to give Denver a 38–31 lead. Cleveland advanced to Denver's 8-yard line with 1:12 left, but Broncos' safety Jeremiah Castille stripped Browns' running back Earnest Byner of the football at the 2-yard line—a play that has been called The Fumble by Browns' fans. The Broncos recovered it, gave Cleveland an intentional safety, and went on to win 38–33. The two teams met yet again in the 1989 AFC Championship at Mile High Stadium, which the Broncos easily won by a score of 37–21. The Broncos did not win the Super Bowl after any of the championship games where they defeated the Browns, losing by an aggregate of 136–40.
In 1994, in honor of the 75th anniversary season of the NFL, the Broncos wore their 1965 throwback uniforms for two games—a Week 3 home game against the Raiders and a road game at the Buffalo Bills the following week.
In 1995, Mike Shanahan, who had formerly served under Reeves as the Broncos' offensive coordinator, returned as head coach. Shanahan drafted rookie running back Terrell Davis. In 1996, the Broncos were the top seed in the AFC with a 13–3 record, dominating most of the teams that year. The fifth-seeded Jacksonville Jaguars, however, upset the Broncos 30–27 in the divisional round of the playoffs, ending the Broncos' 1996 run.
Like in 2012, the 2013 Broncos finished with a 13–3 record and the AFC's No. 1 seed. The Broncos broke all offensive records and QB Peyton Manning shattered many quarterback records that season as well. In the 2013 playoffs, they defeated the San Diego Chargers in the Divisional round and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship. However, the Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII by a score of 43–8, the Broncos' first Super Bowl berth since winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.
The Broncos radically changed their logo and uniforms in 1997, a design that the team continues to use to this day. The new logos and uniforms were unveiled on February 4, 1997. Navy blue replaced royal blue on the team's color scheme. The current logo is a profile of a horse's head, with an orange mane and navy blue outlines. The Broncos' popular live animal mascot Thunder was the inspiration to incorporate a horse-head profile as part of the logo on the team's helmets. During a February 4, 1997, press conference introducing the new logo, the team president and the art director for Nike, who were the creators of the new design, described it as "a powerful horse with a fiery eye and mane."
The team also introduced navy blue pants in 2003, with orange side streaks to match with the navy blue jerseys. Though they were part of the uniform change in 1997 (in fact, they were worn for a couple of 1997 preseason games) and most players wanted to wear them, the only player who vetoed wearing them was John Elway, thereby delaying their eventual introduction. From 2003 to 2011, these pants were primarily used for select prime-time and late-season home games (excluding the 2008 season), and since 2012, are used exclusively with the now-alternate navy blue jerseys — see next section.
Shortly after Kubiak became head coach, the Broncos underwent numerous changes to their coaching staff and players, including the hiring of defensive coordinator, defensive mastermind Wade Phillips, under whom the Broncos' defense went from middle of the road to being ranked No. 1 in the NFL. By the 2015 season, it would go on to be considered one of the greatest NFL defenses of all time — along with the 1985 Bears, 2000 Ravens and 2002 Buccaneers. The Broncos finished with a 12–4 record and the AFC's No. 1 seed, despite Peyton Manning having his worst statistical season since his rookie year with the Indianapolis Colts in 1998. Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler started the last six games of the regular season due to Manning suffering from a foot injury. Manning led the Broncos throughout the playoffs. The Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 23–16 in the Divisional Round and the New England Patriots 20–18 in the AFC Championship. They were victorious against the Carolina Panthers 24–10 in Super Bowl 50 for their third Super Bowl title.
John Elway retired following the 1998 season, and Brian Griese started at quarterback for the next four seasons. After a 6–10 record in 1999, mostly due to a season-ending injury to Terrell Davis, the Broncos recovered in 2000, earning a Wild Card playoff berth, but losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. After missing the playoffs the following two seasons, former Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Jake Plummer replaced Griese in 2003, and led the Broncos to two straight 10–6 seasons, earning Wild Card playoff berths both years. However, the Broncos went on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts in back-to-back seasons and were blown out by more than 20 points in each game, allowing a combined 90 points.
During home games, the attendance is announced to the crowd, along with the number of no-shows (the fans subsequently boo the no-shows). The fans are also known to chant "IN-COM-PLETE!" every time the visiting team throws an incomplete pass. The stadium's legendary home-field advantage is regarded as one of the best in the NFL, especially during the playoffs. The Broncos had the best home record in pro football over a 32-year span from 1974 to 2006 (191–65–1). Mile High Stadium was one of the NFL's loudest stadiums, with steel flooring instead of concrete, which may have given the Broncos an advantage over opponents, plus the advantage of altitude conditioning for the Broncos. In 2001, the team moved into then-named Invesco Field at Mile High, built next to the former site of the since-demolished Mile High Stadium. Sportswriter Woody Paige, along with many of Denver's fans, however, often refused to call the stadium by its full name, preferring to use "Mile High Stadium" because of its storied history and sentimental import. Additionally, The Denver Post had an official policy of referring to the stadium as simply "Mile High Stadium" in protest, but dropped this policy in 2004.
In 2002, the Broncos introduced an alternate orange jersey that is a mirror image of the aforementioned navy blue jerseys, but with orange and navy trading places. Like the road white jerseys, the white pants with the navy blue streaks running down the sides are worn with this uniform. This jersey was used only once in the 2002 and 2004 seasons, and were used twice per season from 2008 to 2011. Mike Shanahan, the team's head coach from 1995 to 2008, was not a big fan of the alternate orange jerseys. The Broncos previously wore orange jerseys as a throwback uniform in a Thanksgiving Day game at the Dallas Cowboys in 2001.
On November 16, 2003, the Broncos wore their white jerseys at home for the first time since 1983, in a game vs. the San Diego Chargers. This was compensation for a uniform mix-up, after the teams' first meeting at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium in Week 2 earlier that season, when the Chargers were the team that was supposed to declare their uniform color. The Chargers were planning to wear their white jerseys, but the visiting Broncos came to the stadium in white, and were fined $25,000 by the NFL as a result. When the two teams met at INVESCO Field at Mile High later that season (Week 11), the NFL allowed the visiting Chargers to choose their uniform color in advance, and they chose navy blue, forcing the Broncos to wear their white jerseys at home.
Plummer led the Broncos to a 13–3 record in 2005 and their first AFC West division title since 1998. After a first-round bye, the Broncos defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 27–13, denying New England from becoming the first NFL team ever to win three consecutive Super Bowl championships. They were the first team to beat the Patriots in the playoffs during the Tom Brady era. The Broncos' playoff run came to an end the next week, after losing at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game, 34–17. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL.
The Broncos' defense began the first five games of the 2006 season allowing only one touchdown — an NFL record that still stands. ESPN commentator and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Theismann gave the 2006 defense the name "Bad Blue" on Monday Night Football as they played the Ravens. However, the team struggled down the season stretch. Plummer led the team to a 7–2 record, but struggled individually with inconsistent performance and more interceptions than touchdown passes. As a result, he would be replaced by rookie quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler went 2–3 as a starter, and the Broncos finished with a 9–7 record, losing the tiebreaker to the Kansas City Chiefs for the final playoff spot. Cutler's first full season as a starter in 2007 became the Broncos' first losing season since 1999, with a 7–9 record.
In 2009, in honor of their 50th anniversary season as one of the eight original American Football League teams, the Broncos wore their 1960 throwback uniforms (brown helmets, mustard yellow and brown jerseys) for games against two fellow AFL rivals—a Week 5 home game vs. the New England Patriots, as well as the following week at the San Diego Chargers.
Under McDaniels and Orton, the Broncos jumped out to a surprising 6–0 start in 2009. However, the team lost eight of their next ten games, finishing 8–8 for a second consecutive season and missing the playoffs. The next season (2010), the Broncos set a new franchise record for losses in a single season, with a 4–12 record. McDaniels was fired before the end of the 2010 season following a combination of the team's poor record and the fallout from a highly publicized videotaping scandal. Running backs coach Eric Studesville was named interim coach for the final four games of the 2010 season. He chose to start rookie first-round draft choice Tim Tebow at quarterback for the final three games.
On January 11, 2009, two weeks after Shanahan was fired, the Broncos hired former New England Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the team's new head coach. Three months later, the team acquired quarterback Kyle Orton as part of a trade that sent Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears.
The Denver Broncos announced the club's 50th anniversary team on September 15, 2009. The anniversary team was voted on by users at DenverBroncos.com from June 6 – September 4, 2009.
In 2011, the Broncos began a partnership with KJMN, 92.1 FM, a leading Spanish language radio station owned by Entravision Communications (EVC). The partnership also includes broadcasting rights for a half-hour weekly TV show on KCEC, the local Univision affiliate operated by Entravision Communications.
The Broncos' flagship radio station is currently KOA, 850AM, a 50,000-watt station owned by iHeartMedia. Dave Logan is the play-by-play announcer, with former Broncos' wide receiver Ed McCaffrey serving as the color commentator beginning in 2012, replacing Brian Griese. Ed McCaffrey was replaced by Rick Lewis. Until 2010, preseason games not selected for airing on national television were shown on KCNC, channel 4, which is a CBS owned-and-operated station, as well as other CBS affiliates around the Rocky Mountain region. On May 26, 2011, the Broncos announced that KUSA channel 9, an NBC affiliate also known as 9NEWS in the Rocky Mountain region, will be the team's new television partner for preseason games.
Beginning in 2012, the orange jerseys that served as the alternate colored jerseys from 2002 to 2011 became the primary home jersey, while the navy blue jerseys that served as the primary home jersey from 1997 to 2011 switched to alternate designation. The change was made due to overwhelming popularity with the fans, who pressured the Broncos to return to orange as the team's primary home jersey color. Since the 2012 uniform change, the team has worn the alternate navy blue jerseys for at least one home game per season, with the exception of 2013, in which the Broncos wore their alternate navy blue uniforms for an October 6, 2013, road game at the Dallas Cowboys, which the Broncos won in a shootout, 51–48. The team will either wear the navy blue or the white pants – with the orange side stripes – to match with the alternate navy blue jerseys. The team initially did not wear the white pants with the orange side stripes, until a November 1, 2015, game vs. the Green Bay Packers, in which the Broncos wore said design to match the uniform ensemble that was used during the team's Super Bowl XXXII win over the Packers. On October 30, 2022, the Broncos debuted a new combination of white jerseys and alternate navy blue pants in an NFL London Game at the Jacksonville Jaguars, with mismatched side stripes of navy blue (white jersey) and orange (navy blue pants).
In March 2012, the Broncos reached an agreement on a five-year, $96 million contract with former longtime Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning, who had recently missed the entire 2011 season following multiple neck surgeries. This resulted in the Broncos subsequently trading incumbent quarterback Tim Tebow to the New York Jets. The Broncos finished with a 13–3 record and the AFC's No. 1 seed in the 2012 playoffs, but were defeated by the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional round.
In 2016, the Broncos' unveiled a new Color Rush uniform, which the team wore for a Thursday Night game at the San Diego Chargers on October 13, 2016. The uniform kit contained the following features: orange pants, which the team wore for the first time since 1979, orange socks and shoes, along with block-style numerals trimmed in navy blue that mirrored the team's 1968–1996 uniform style. Due to the NFL's one-helmet rule implemented in 2013, the helmets remained the same, with the team temporarily replacing the modern primary logo with the throwback "D-horse" logo. The same uniform was used for a Thursday night game against the Indianapolis Colts during the 2017 season and again during a 2018 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Starting in 2023, the Color Rush uniforms were paired with a white alternate helmet, again using the modernized "D-horse" logo.
Unlike their records against the Chiefs and Raiders, the Broncos currently have a winning record against the Chargers, with a 70–54–1 series lead, including 1–0 in the playoffs. The Broncos pulled off one of the largest comebacks in Monday Night Football history, when Peyton Manning led the Broncos from a 24–0 halftime deficit to a 35–24 win at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium during the 2012 season. The two teams met in the playoffs for the first time on January 12, 2014, at Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High, with the Broncos winning 24–17.
The Broncos had an old rivalry with the Seattle Seahawks, who were members of the AFC West from 1977 to 2001, prior to the Seahawks' move to the NFC West as part of the NFL's 2002 re-alignment. During the 25 years in which the Seahawks resided in the AFC West, the Broncos went 32–18 against the Seahawks, including a loss at Seattle in the 1983 NFL playoffs. Since 2002, the Broncos have won three of five interconference meetings, and the two teams met in Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014, with the Seahawks winning by a score of 43–8.
On January 12, 2015, one day after the divisional playoff loss to the Colts, the Broncos and head coach John Fox mutually agreed to part ways. Fox left the Broncos with a .719 winning percentage in his four seasons as the Broncos' head coach—the highest in franchise history. One week later, the Broncos hired Gary Kubiak as the team's 15th head coach. Kubiak served as a backup quarterback to executive vice president/general manager John Elway from 1983 to 1991, as well as the Broncos' offensive coordinator from 1995 to 2005.
On March 7, 2016, quarterback Peyton Manning retired after 18 NFL seasons during a press conference at the team's Dove Valley headquarters.
After getting off to a strong start, their 2018 season was up and down, eventually finishing with a 6–10 record and placing third in the AFC West. Coupled with the 5–11 season in 2017, the Broncos had back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1971–1972. Shortly after the conclusion of the regular season, head coach Vance Joseph was fired after recording a poor 11–21 record in two seasons.
On January 2, 2017, coach Gary Kubiak announced his retirement, citing health as the main reason for retiring. The Broncos hired Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as head coach on January 11, 2017. The Broncos finished 5–11 in 2017 as a result of an unimpressive offense led by a quarterback committee of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch.
In an effort to address poor production from the offense, the Broncos signed quarterback Case Keenum on March 14, 2018, and traded away Trevor Siemian to the Minnesota Vikings on March 19, 2018.
On May 1, 2018, the Broncos signed local undrafted free agent running back Phillip Lindsay, who became a fan favorite due to his underdog mentality, explosive play style and local roots. Lindsay became the first undrafted player in NFL history with 100+ scrimmage yards in each of their first two games and on December 18, 2018, Lindsay was voted to the 2019 Pro Bowl, making him the first undrafted offensive rookie in NFL history to be voted to a Pro Bowl.
On January 10, 2019, the Broncos hired Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to become the 17th head coach in franchise history. Fangio was chosen over Mike Munchak, the Broncos' offensive line coach. Fangio received a four-year contract with a team option for an additional season.
On February 13, 2019, Joe Flacco was announced as the new starting quarterback. On October 6, 2019, the Broncos defeated the Los Angeles Chargers for their 500th win, bringing their win–loss record to 500–432.
Prior to the 2011 season, Englewood-based sporting goods retailer Sports Authority claimed the naming rights of Invesco Field, which became known as Sports Authority Field at Mile High. However, in the summer of 2016, Sports Authority went bankrupt, the stadium was renamed Broncos Stadium at Mile High, and the Broncos sought out a naming rights sponsor until September 2019 when they agreed to rename the stadium Empower Field at Mile High.
On December 1, 2019, the Broncos started Mizzou rookie quarterback Drew Lock for the first time. He led the Broncos to a 4–1 record to end the 2019 season. The Broncos finished 2nd place in the AFC West Division at 7–9, missing the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year. In five games, Lock finished with 1,020 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and three interceptions.
On November 29, 2020, after all three of the Broncos' quarterbacks were placed in COVID-19 protocol, the Broncos were forced to turn to undrafted wide receiver and former college quarterback Kendall Hinton as the emergency quarterback. Hinton completed only one pass for 13 yards in 9 attempts—the fewest pass completions in a single game in franchise history—and was intercepted twice. The Broncos' only scoring play was a 58-yard field goal by placekicker Brandon McManus in a 31–3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. In July 2021, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that Hinton's quarterback wristband would be added to the Hall of Fame as part of a display.
Following another season of uninspiring quarterback performances, the Broncos were the subject of multiple quarterback trade rumors during the 2021 offseason. Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson were two names rumored to be of interest for the Broncos, but ultimately the Broncos traded for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on April 28, 2021. Bridgewater won the subsequent quarterback competition between himself and Drew Lock during the preseason, and he was named the Broncos' starting quarterback on August 25, 2021.
On October 31, 2021, Peyton Manning (who won two AFC Championships, Super Bowl 50, and an NFL MVP during his four seasons as a Bronco) was inducted to the Broncos' Ring of Fame during a game against Washington.
On November 1, 2021, the Broncos traded franchise legend Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a 2nd and 3rd round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. At the time of the trade, Miller was the longest-tenured Bronco on the team, and the only remaining non-special teams player from Denver's Super Bowl 50 roster.
After another mediocre performance in the 2021 season with the Broncos going 7–10, head coach Vic Fangio was dismissed on January 8, 2022, after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Broncos announced the hiring of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as head coach on January 27, 2022.
The Broncos then announced on February 1, 2022, that they were now up for sale and that they would be parting ways with the Bowlen family, the former owners of the franchise.
Hackett's first hire as head coach was Justin Outten as offensive coordinator. He was hired on February 2, 2022.
On March 16, 2022, the Broncos traded Drew Lock, Noah Fant, Shelby Harris, Denver's 2022 first-round pick (No. 9), its 2022 second-round pick (No. 40), its 2023 first- and second-round picks, and its 2022 fifth-round round pick for Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks' 2022 fourth-round pick.
On June 7, 2022, the Broncos announced that the Walton-Penner family, led by Rob Walton, had entered in an agreement to acquire the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion. The NFL approved the bid on August 10, 2022, with the Broncos introducing Carrie Walton Penner, Greg Penner, Mellody Hobson, Condoleezza Rice, and Lewis Hamilton to the ownership group.
According to Forbes, the Broncos are valued at $4.65 billion in July 2022 making them the twelfth most-valuable team in the NFL.
The current head coach is Sean Payton, who was hired for the 2023 season. His predecessor was Nathaniel Hackett. On December 26, 2022, ownership announced that Hackett had been fired after he led the team to a disappointing 4–11 record despite entering the season with high expectations.
Roster updated December 2, 2023
In late 2012, the Broncos announced that the stadium would receive $30 million upgrades including a new video board in the south end zone three times larger than the previous display. The renovations were finished before kickoff of the 2013 season.