I'm on the record that I think it would be shortsighted to spend any premium asset for non-long-term QB while there is a question about our QB position. We might need those picks to trade up in the draft for a QB Ballard and Reich love. Until we are certain one way or another in our long-term QB position we should not be trading those picks for players. And even then we should still be prudent in how we spend our picks. Multiple round 1 and round 2 picks for strong safety/slot CB is not my idea of prudent use of our picks.
I have no doubt Elway is a better QB talent evaluator than people here...but vs. his peers? Osweiler, Siemian, Lynch...giving $25M gtd to Case Keenum...those moves collectively would seem to suggest his evaluation is not better than most...and maybe just bad (relatively speaking). Granted none of those are top 5 picks...but he did trade up in the 1st round to get Lynch and Osweiler was a 2nd round pick. I like Lock more than that anyone in that group...so we will see how that turns out.
As for Manning...there were several teams were interested...like nearly 1/3 of the league. At least 9 teams reached out to him (DEN, AZ, SEA, TEN, WAS, MIA, NYJ, PHI, SF)...and Manning narrowed it down and heard in-person pitches from 4 of them (DEN, AZ, MIA and TEN)...and ultimately chose DEN over AZ and TEN. It was a whole thing that went on for a few weeks.
Irsay did release Manning from his contract...but (IMO) either Manning (or likely both he and Irsay) engineered it as a possibility when Manning signed his contract the year before...which contained a poison pill that ultimately saw him get released.