|07-06-2006, 11:19 PM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2004
No Trade is Imminent for Lelie
The Broncos commence a three-day minicamp today at Dove Valley, giving the organization its final on-field tuneup of the offseason.
But one of the players who won't be participating figures to draw at least some of the focus away from the masses of massives sweating it out for more than two hours today through Saturday.
Receiver Ashley Lelie, who has boycotted the team's offseason workouts in an attempt to force a trade, once again will be absent.
The difference this time, unlike the 14 organized team sessions in May and June and conditioning sessions that have been ongoing since April, is these practices are mandatory and the team has the right to dole out fines for not participating.
Lelie can be penalized under current NFL Players' Association guidelines a maximum of $11,641 for missing the three-day session.
If his absence continues into training camp, which begins July 28, a step the receiver previously promised he'll take, the monetary hit escalates to $6,000 a day because he's under contract and his absence unexcused.
The likely monetary penalties in the short term won't dissuade Lelie, who has gone public about his displeasure with his role in the offense, the Broncos' acquisition of receiver Javon Walker and perceptions he has underachieved instead of being miscast in the system.
Lelie was sparse in his comments Wednesday regarding his situation, but he did acknowledge he again will be a no-show.
"Nothing different," he said. "My agent really doesn't want me to speak on the matter. But, yeah, nothing's changed."
Lelie's representative, Peter Schaffer, and the Broncos have been working to try to find a willing partner in a player-for-player swap.
Lelie has led the NFL the past two seasons in yards per catch.
So far, the Broncos have been rebuffed in acquiring a player on their wish list or declined to pull the trigger.
The New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears are among the teams the Broncos previously have been engaged in talks. But nothing appears to be imminent.
Schaffer and Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist did not return phone calls.
Lelie, a first-round pick in 2002, had been working out at Athletes' Performance, a training facility in Tempe, Ariz., earlier in the offseason.
But he has moved his base to the center's facility in Carson, Calif., to get more football-intensive training while mixing in weight work in a five-days-a-week regimen.
As part of his routine, Lelie is partnered with Charles Collins, who specializes in working with receivers as a former position coach at Santa Monica (Calif.) College and counts current NFL players Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Smith among his clients list.
But for Lelie, who maintains he's in top shape, it's admittedly not the same as going through the paces with teammates.
"It's kind of hard sitting back and watching and being out of football," Lelie said. "It gives me a whole different perspective on everything.
"I miss it. And watching things makes me more hungry to be on the field."
Just not with the Broncos, apparently.
Lelie's no-show stand, coupled with Walker's ongoing recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, has allowed 2004 second-round pick Darius Watts to re-emerge as a serious contender for playing time next season if he can duplicate his offseason performance during training camp.
Walker will not be a full-time participant this week, which will allow Watts, David Terrell, Charlie Adams and rookie Brandon Marshall to get more repetitions and chances to prove their value.
Besides Walker and Lelie, only defensive tackle Amon Gordon, who's on the mend from microfracture knee surgery that ended his 2005 season, and rookie wideout Domenik Hixon, who underwent an offseason procedure to repair his left foot, could miss time in the next few days.
But Hixon's agent, Vance Larimer, said his client is ready to go after participating in only one full-speed workout during team activities.
|07-06-2006, 11:28 PM||#3|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Trinidad Colorado
|07-06-2006, 11:45 PM||#5|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Oct 2005
What's not to like about his role in the offense? He'll be a starter if he can do the two things any WR should be able to do well - run and catch the ball!
I really hope he wakes up and smells what he's shoveling.
|07-07-2006, 07:04 AM||#7|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2001
Wow Lee, way to go out on a limb. Once nothing was completed at the draft the odds of Ashley being traded before a WR got hurt in training camp were virtually nothing.
|07-07-2006, 07:30 AM||#8|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Aug 2003
With mini camp going on we have other stuff going on, its good to hear that they put Lelie on the backburner and not stressing.