It's been nearly two months since the last edition of "Rumors, Rants & Raves graced the cover of Broncos Update. In that time Denver moved up to the 15th overall pick in the NFL's 2006 Draft, traded the 22nd pick to San Francisco for a second and third round slot, signed two more Cleveland Browns castoffs and generated legislation for a new line of specialty license plates.
Pretty hard to top specialty plates when it comes to off season excitement……..
Rest assured Ashley Lelie's days in Denver are close to over. After forfeiting a $100,000 off-season workout bonus and electing to train in Phoenix, the four-year veteran secured himself a prime spot in Mike Shanhan's dog house, the holding ground for the soon to be discarded.
Rumor has it that Denver will try and use its 68th pick in a package with Lelie to try and nail down disgruntled receiver Javon Walker from the Green Bay Packers.
I can hardly wait.
WITH THE FIRST PICK…
While most insiders are firmly convinced that Houston will nail down Reggie Bush with the top pick in this years NFL Draft, Texan officials are in high gear spinning a case for DE Mario Williams, who they feel is the best defensive player in the 2006 class.
The diatribe is the usual size, speed, and potential, but those close to the situation lean more toward the financial benefits, where Williams would be a slam dunk.
Unconfirmed reports have Bush's agent asking for nearly $30 million as a signing bonus; Williams however could be signed for a fraction of that, and if you believe what the Houston media is selling, he's the next coming of Reggie White, a player that would have an immediate impact on defense.
Without doubting the impact Bush would provide, the fact that Houston has not exercised its option to open up contract negotiations with the Southern Califonia tailback has more than a few league executives puzzled.
THINK POSITIVE -
Two players from the 2006 Combine, LSU defensive tackle Claude Wroten and Missouri State kicker Jon Scifres, have reportedly tested positive under the NFL's mandated drug testing program.
Wroten, whose stock began to fall after getting popped in January for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, attempted to diffuse his arrest prior to the Combine by sending a letter to each NFL team explaining that …I made a mistake, but I'm really NOT a bad guy.
Ok, so you're not a "bad guy", but come on, if the staff at Broncos Update could manage to come up clean, it shouldn't be too hard for someone who actually attended college.
FROM THE "HOW DUMB CAN YOU BE FILES" –
Chargers backup linebacker Shaun Phillips got popped last week after scuffling with police officers on the streets of San Diego's downtown Gas Lamp District.
Evidently officers took exception when they rolled up and saw the 6'3, 220 lbs. Phillips holding an unidentified woman in a headlock. Police say they also witnessed Phillips grabbing the woman by the hair and forcing her head back. In response the woman slapped the linebacker and pushed him away as he tried to grab her again.
When asked, the unidentified woman told police they were just "playing" and the couple began to walk away. San Diego's finest wasn't "playing" however and they ordered Phillips to stand still – an order he promptly refused.
Several hours and ten-thousand dollars later the playful Charger was released on bail.
THE OTHER SPORT -
Call me a glutton for punishment – but the thought of a Denver Nuggets – Los Angeles Clippers matchup in the first round of the NBA playoffs actually sounds exciting.
Not that either team stands a chance to advance too far, but I like the idea of Elton Brand and Carmelo Anthony getting some well deserved pub for their accomplishments this year.
Both are bound to be snubbed when it comes to the MVP voting, but I can guarantee that neither the Clips nor Nugs would have even come close to a playoff spot without them.
MEDIA QUOTE OF THE WEEK -
"Don't misunderstand -- the Cowboys are desperate. They are quietly frantic to get back to a Super Bowl before Bill Parcells has to be propped up like the guy in Weekend at Bernie's".
- Gil Lebreton Columnist with the Dallas Star Telegram
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past nine years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.
Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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Schon: Rumors, Rants & Raves 4/22/06
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