When it came to trading out disgruntled receiver Ashley Lelie, the Denver Broncos weren't trying to be greedy, they simply wanted what they felt was equal value for the former first round pick.
Considering the fact that Lelie's total production in 2005 was just one touchdown more than the teams' towel boy, Denver made out like a bandit.
According to the team's official website, the Broncos will receive draft compensation from Washington in one of four ways -
• The Broncos and Redskins exchange first-round picks next year. This is if the Broncos are lower than the Redskins in the first round and the difference in slots is roughly equivalent to an upper third-round pick.
• The Broncos and Redskins exchange first-round picks and the Broncos receive the Redskins' fourth-round selection in 2008. "There's a little bit of risk there on both sides," Sundquist said. "If Washington falls real high in the draft order, then it's higher; if it's lower, it's below what our value was, but at the same time, we got a pick."
• The Broncos and Redskins exchange first-round picks and the Broncos receive the Redskins' third-rounder next year. "That's if the gap between the picks is even less," Sundquist said, adding it could be anywhere from one to five selections based on where the selections reside in the first round.
• The Broncos get the Redskins' 2007 third-rounder and 2008 fourth-rounder.
Although it all sounds pretty complicated, the bottom line is this – Lelie's days in Denver are done. No more whining, no more pouting - he wanted out, and the Broncos obliged.
Unfortunately, it wasn't the way the three-year vet was hoping for.
Lelie's main contention was that he wanted to be the number one receiver, and with the off-season acquisition of Javon Walker, everybody and their brother knew it wouldn't happen in Denver.
Well, apparently it won't happen in Atlanta either.
Falcons head coach Jim Mora went on record Tuesday as saying he plans on using Lelie behind Michael Jenkins and Roddy White as the teams' third receiver. The head coach went on to admit that there has not been any discussion concerning Lelie's contract, which is set to expire this year, leaving the receiver a potential free agent for 2007.
The irony of the entire mess is the fact that Lelie could have stayed in Denver if he was going to play as a third receiver. He could have taken advantage of the $100,000 off-season workout bonus. He could have reported to camp and saved nearly $400,000 of his scheduled $600,000 salary this year. He could have saved himself from the possibility of paying back the Broncos one-third of his $3.3 million signing bonus.
All told, this mental lapse may end up costing Lelie nearly $1 million by the time it's all said and done.
Could have, would have, should have….. Goodbye and good riddance.
Don't let the door hit you in the Ash on your way out.
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past ten 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
Schon: Was it really worth it?
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