John Elway, the Broncos' executive vice president of football operations, says he would have no problem having Michael Sam on his team.
Sam, a 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive end and linebacker from Missouri who is projected to go in the middle rounds of the NFL draft May 8-10, announced Sunday that he is gay.
Elway said Sam's on-field ability, not his sexual orientation, would affect his scouting grade.
"I applaud Michael Sam and wish him the very best as he continues the pursuit of his NFL dream," Elway said Monday.
"As we look toward the combine and draft, we will evaluate Michael just like any other draft prospect — on the basis of his ability, character and NFL potential. His announcement will have no effect on how we see him as a football player. Having spent 16 years in an NFL locker room (as a player), the bottom line is that it's about treating others with respect and earning that respect. By all indications, it appears Michael has done just that throughout his football career."
Elway starred at quarterback for the Broncos from 1983-98, eventually earning induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sam, 24, was the Southeastern Conference's defensive player of the year in 2013, when he made 19 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks as a senior. He was named Missouri's most valuable player and a first-team All-American.
Sam will participate in the NFL scouting combine next week in Indianapolis, where teams will want to see whether he is capable of making the conversion to outside linebacker.