The Denver Broncos and coach John Fox have mutually agreed to part ways.
“I had a productive visit with John Elway this afternoon in which we were both very honest about our time together and how to best move forward,” Fox said in a statement. “After this discussion, John and I mutually agreed that the timing was right for this decision.”
The decision was made just hours after Fox had met with the Broncos’ players to cover the end-of-the-season business.
Following that meeting, cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said Fox told the players that “he just appreciated everybody’s efforts, he loved us and everybody just be smart in the offseason and make sure you take care of your body to be ready to come back ready to roll when OTAs start.”
The move comes a day after the Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs by the Indianapolis Colts, and a year after the team’s first appearance in a Super Bowl since Elway, now the team’s general manager, retired as quarterback.
It was ultimately the team’s playoff record — 2-3 with two one-and-done exits, including Sunday’s 23-14 home loss to the Colts — that were difficult to digest for many with the team.
“While we have made significant progress under Coach Fox, there is still work to be done,” Elway said in a statement. “I believe this change at the head coaching position will be in the best interest of our long-term goal, which from day one has been to win World Championships.”
The Broncos told Fox’s assistant that they are now free to look for other jobs, but Denver still holds their contractual rights. The team plans to have wide search to find its next coach, with the Broncos interested in interviewing Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.