John Elway is looking for a new coach after agreeing to part ways with John Fox following Denver's latest playoff meltdown.
Fox won the AFC West all four of his years in Denver, but each of those seasons ended in ugly fashion in the playoffs, culminating with Sunday's 24-13 upset by Indianapolis.
Fox might already have something in the works with another franchise — he didn't shoot down a pregame report Sunday night that he could be available if the Broncos lost.
"It became clear that it was best for both the Denver Broncos and Coach Fox to move on and make this change," Elway said.
So, Fox is out after going 49-22 in Denver, including the playoffs, following a 78-74 record in nine years with the Panthers, counting the postseason.
Fox characterized his meeting with Elway as productive and honest and said the two "mutually agreed that the timing was right for this decision."
"Although we came up short of our ultimate goal, I am proud of our team's many accomplishments," Fox said in a statement. "I am eager to continue my coaching career and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead."
Fox became the only coach in NFL history to win a dozen consecutive divisional road games on his way to an unprecedented four straight AFC West titles.
In the aftermath of his poor playoff performance in the Broncos' 24-13 loss to Indianapolis, Peyton Manning said the right thigh bruise he suffered Dec. 14 at San Diego lingered but wasn't bad enough to sideline him.
ESPN, citing two people it didn't name, reported that Manning played with a "torn" quad muscle, the severity of which he had tried to conceal.
However, two people with knowledge of Manning's health told the Associated Press it was "a strain," as the team had characterized it all along.
They also said it could be a matter of semantics because a strain occurs when a muscle is stretched too much and tears. Etc.
• Three defensive coordinators, including Arizona's Todd Bowles, might lead the Falcons' coach search. The Falcons are expected to conduct second interviews with Bowles and Detroit's Teryl Austin this week. The team must wait for a meeting with Seattle's Dan Quinn.
•Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott is scheduled to interview with the Jets about their head-coaching vacancy Wednesday.
•The Raiders will interview Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio for head coach.
•The Seahawks expect center Max Unger (leg) and cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) to be fine for Sunday's NFC Championship Game.