The Broncos spent the offseason trying to replace Peyton Manning under center, no easy task even with Manning suffering through his worst season as a pro in 2015. John Elway was beyond patient and always looked cool, calm and collected.

But he admitted, while speaking with Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, that it was a "big surprise" when the Broncos lost Manning and Brock Osweiler in quick fashion this offseason.

"There are challenges every year. That's why this year in free agency and all that, there are challenges every year trying to keep things together. So that's always a challenge," Elway said. "Was it a big surprise that we were in that situation? Yeah, because I thought ... we drafted Brock [Osweiler] when we got Peyton [Manning] because we didn't know exactly what Peyton was going to be. But also, if [Manning] wasn't in good shape, we were going to a guy who was going to be here for a long, long time.

"Now, that didn't work out, so it was a matter of, you have to fix the issue. There are going to be issues every year."

It's hard to imagine Manning retiring was a surprise, and that's the most curious thing about all of this. Elway was tremendously respectful to the legend by letting Manning take his time trying to figure out what the plan for 2016 was. Borderline too respectful, really, but Elway knows what it's like to make the decision and pressuring Peyton publicly would've been a bad look.