Sundquist out as Broncos general manager

DENVER -- Ted Sundquist is out as the Denver Broncos' general manager.

In a brief statement Wednesday, coach Mike Shanahan said it was time for the organization to move forward and look at new directions.

"I will say I'm disappointed," Sundquist said in a phone interview. "I've been with the club for 16-plus years."

Asked if he was fired, Sundquist said, "I didn't resign."

Shanahan said he was "grateful to Ted for all his hard work and efforts on behalf of the Broncos for the past 16 years."

Other members of the Broncos' management, including director of player personnel Jim Goodman and assistant general manager Jeff Goodman, will have increased roles in football operations. Joe Ellis, chief operating officer of the Broncos, will perform operational and administrative issues.

"I started in an entry-level job here -- in the front lobby answering phones and sorting mail," Sundquist said. "I love the organization and the people. I felt like every day I came into work and did my best to bring the fans of Denver a championship. I envisioned finishing my career here in Denver and being a GM here in Denver until my adult working life was over."

The Broncos limped to a 7-9 record last season, missing the playoffs for a second straight year. Since the end of the season, Denver defensive boss Jim Bates resigned and the team has released receiver Javon Walker and linebacker Ian Gold.

Sundquist didn't want to speculate whether the team's recent play had anything to do with his departure.

"You'd have to ask Mike," he said. "I don't know."

Sundquist became general manager in 2002 after 10 years in a player personnel role for the team.

Denver reached the playoffs three times under Sundquist's watch, including an appearance in the AFC Championship Game following the 2005 season, a 34-17 loss to Pittsburgh.

The 45-year-old Sundquist supervised pro and college scouting, and was responsible for salary cap and contract analysis.

In his role as general manager, Sundquist helped Denver land free agents such as John Lynch, Daniel Graham and Travis Henry. He also made trades such as the one with the Washington Redskins to acquire Champ Bailey, and another to obtain Dre' Bly from the Detroit Lions.

Sundquist also facilitated a draft-day deal with St. Louis in 2006, allowing Denver to trade up four spots to take Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler with the 11th overall pick.

"I think we took advantage of every aspect and opportunity of acquiring talent across the league, whether it was through trades or free agents," Sundquist said. "We as an organization have a great amount of respect across the league. I'd like to think I helped with that."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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