Posted Mon May 12th by Monty
Update (2/10/13): This article is over four years old but has been getting a lot of traffic in resent days, we assume because of Elam’s appearance on the TV show “Buying Alaska“. For more on Elam’s current status, go here.
A lot of fans, including myself, were scratching their heads at Jason Elam‘s departure this offseason. As we all know, he’ll be kicking for Atlanta now, while the Broncos will be relying on a few untested guys to battle over camp and win the job. The Broncos had an offer on the table – a good one at that. So went wrong?
In a recent interview with CBS4 Denver, the potential Ring of Famer cleared the air, and said that naturally money was factor, but that the length of the contract was a bigger one.
“In the end there was more money. I’m not saying that didn’t factor in. Certainly it did. But it was a level of commitment that the Falcons were willing to give to me. … I felt like the Broncos were very fair to me over the last 15 years. They gave me an offer that they felt was fair. But my personal feeling was that it was (really) a one year deal, and I wanted a bit more of a commitment.”
Mike Shanahan pointed out that the Broncos contract offer would have made Elam the 3rd highest paid kicker in the NFL. For a guy that doesn’t do kick offs, that’s an extremely sweet deal. He also speculated that the contract the Broncos offered was a better deal over 2-3 years, and hypothesized that Elam might have been seeking a one year deal to finish off his career, so signed with Atlanta because of their larger offer up front.
Elam denied those claims, saying he intends to honor his contract with the Falcons.
Great story by the CBS4 team, which sheds some light on the Elam situation. The Broncos did everything within reason – and then some – to try and keep Jason in Denver. Ultimately it was the up front money, plain and simple, that lured Jason to Atlanta.