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Broncos’ GM: Job market contributed to John Fox departure

John Elway didn’t see eye-to-eye with coach coach John Fox on how to improve the Broncos, the general manager said Tuesday, while acknowledging that the timing of availability in the coaching market made a split best for both parties.

Elway and Fox parted ways Monday, with the latter becoming a natural fit for the Bears’ vacancy. Elway admitted that Fox was “exploring what his options were” after the team lost Sunday, and that contributed to the timing.

Fox presents the Bears with an experienced candidate to pair with 37-year-old GM Ryan Pace. One of Fox’s best friends is Sean Payton, the coach Pace held up as the gold standard last week.

Fox worked under Bears advisor Ernie Accorsi when the former was the Giants’ defensive coordinator from 1997-2001.

Fox’s defense and run game ethos — which was more obvious before his pairing with Peyton Manning — would match what the Bears hope to return to following Marc Trestman’s two seasons.

Fox was fired after a 46-18 record over four seasons. He was 73-71 in nine seasons with the Panthers. Fox reached the Super Bowl with both teams, but lost twice.

“The main thing between John and I was, we disagreed how to get to the next level.’” Elway told reporters in Denver. “The biggest miss between us was, ‘How do we take that next step?’”

Elway expressed his respect for Fox — “He’s a very, very good man,” he said — but said later, too, that the Broncos didn’t exit the playoffs “kicking and screaming” for the last “two years in a row.”

They lost by 11 at home to the Colts on Sunday and by 35 to the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

Elway wasn’t specific about his differences with Fox, other than to say the Broncos “gotta peak a little later than peaked.”