In the Broncos’ Bizarro World, is it possible that backup Chad Kelly could be replaced by the quarterback he replaced?
A dependable source said Wednesday afternoon team executives are considering re-signing Paxton Lynch, the former No. 1 draft choice who was released just before the regular season.
As the Broncos’ players returned to Dove Valley to begin preparations for the next game, Kelly was departing permanently.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs are laughing in Kansas City and awaiting the discombobulated Broncos.
Kelly appeared Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing at the Arapahoe County Courthouse, which is located only a few football fields from the Broncos’ headquarters in Centennial. Former Broncos players and a team executive have spent time in that jail and could see the practice field from the cells.
The hearing lasted just two minutes, and the date for a formal hearing, following the district attorney’s investigation, was set by the judge for Nov. 8. Kelly did not speak to the press before or after the appearance, and he did not address the court while standing with his attorney Harvey Steinberg, a University of Colorado graduate who has represented in court hundreds of professional athletes, literally and dozens of Broncos, literally, and Pat Bowlen’s son John Bowlen Jr. The Broncos routinely hand out Steinberg’s cards to new players. He has successfully won a multitude of cases in court and against the NFL’s regulations on accusations ranging from misdemeanors (marijuana use) to felonies (sexual assault).
Kelly is Steinberg’s latest client. The Broncos waived Kelly on Wednesday after John Elway, president of football operations, met with the quarterback “This was a decision that we made as an organization,’’ Elway stated in a team press release. “”After reviewing all the information and in talking with (coach) Vance (Joseph) and (CEO) Joe (Ellis), we agreed that releasing Chad was the right thing to do. Even though Chad’s no longer part of our team, we’ve offered to help him however we can and are supportive of him in every possible way.”
Although the Broncos had a “zero tolerance’’ policy on Kelly since he arrived in Denver, and he stayed out of public dilemmas, sources told The Gazette he had experienced troubling private episodes.
Kevin Hogan will be promoted from the practice squad to the team’s active roster for Sunday’s game. But Joseph indicated in his media conference Wednesday that the situation at quarterback is fluid.
Almost a dozen veteran free agents quarterbacks are available. The list includes Mark Sanchez (who was in training camp with the Broncos in 2016 before being cut before the season), Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, Matt Moore, Tom Savage and T.J. Yates.
Some curious possibilities exist, but no way is Elway signing ex-Broncos starters Jay Cutler, who hasn’t announced his retirement, or Tim Tebow. He wouldn’t touch either them or Colin Kaepernick (who the Broncos tried to persuade to accept a trade and a reduced contract) with a pole vault pole.
But another former Broncos’ starter is a real possibility. Since being waived, Lynch has been invited for tryouts with the Eagles, the Lions, the Bills, the Jaguars and the Seahawks, but none signed him.
Lynch certainly is familiar with the Broncos’ offensive system, and started four games in two seasons, compiling a 1-3 record. He lost both starts in 2017, and was injured in the second. He completed 61.7 percent of his passes and threw four touchdowns and four interceptions. Elway traded up in the first round of the 2016 draft to pick Lynch in an effort to develop a young quarterback to become the franchise’s next long-time starter. It didn’t work out. Paxton wasn’t Payton or John his own self.
Kelly was chosen to be Case Keenum’s backup as a result of the OTAs, training camp practices and performances in exhibitions. Kelly was only an injury, or a few more losses, away from becoming the starter, and the speculation had started.
Kelly, who played at “Last Chance U’’, may have gotten his last opportunity in the pros. He might have to follow the problematic Johnny Manziel in the Canadian Football League or find a fresh career path.
Kelly was the ninth quarterback the Broncos have tried in the Elway Era (not named Manning) — Tebow, Brock Osweiler, Zac Dysert, Trevor Siemian, Barkley, Lynch, Kyle Sloter, Keenum and Kelly.
Elway, according to sources within the organization, was incensed when he learned that Kelly was arrested on charges of first-degree criminal trespassing — a felony. Kelly already had been given a “second chance’’ several times in high school and college because of arrests and discipline problems.
Kelly and, reportedly, his girlfriend attended the players’ annual Halloween party Monday evening at the Gothic Theater on South Broadway. According to a witness, Kelly was involved in a verbal disagreement with another person and was asked by other Broncos to leave the building, a venerable movie theater that was transformed into a club/concert hall.
Kelly apparently got into another confrontation with security guards, then, apparently, without his companion, wandered 2½ blocks into an adjacent neighborhood of modest homes and entered one house without an invitation, sat on the sofa with a woman, who didn’t know who Kelly was, and her child, and began, according to the Englewood City Police Department, to “mumble incoherently.’’
A man described as the owner of the house struck Kelly in the back with a vacuum tube, and the Broncos player left. The man took a phone video of Kelly, called authorities and said the invader was “disheveled.” Officers found Kelly by the Gothic in his car and recognized that he was a Broncos quarterback. After the man identified him as the illegal trespasser, Kelly was arrested and taken to jail. He was released about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday after posting a $2,500 bond. The probabilities of Kelly’s incident being alcohol- or drug-related have not been confirmed or cleared up by Englewood authorities.
Three people who live or work in a southeast Denver high-rise condo complex told The Gazette exclusively Wednesday that Kelly had been evicted, or “asked to move out,’’ from the apartment where he resided for months because of recurring occurrences that were based on unruly parties, arguments, visitors’ concerns and “anger issues,’’ said those who asked not to be named because they want to remain out of the limelight. The building has been home to at least a dozen current and former Broncos.
“(Kelly) seemed like a nice young man ... except on occasion when he had anger issues,’’ an employee said.
So, Kelly has been shrouded in conflictive situations in high school, college and, now, with the Broncos.
Kelly is out.
Will Lynch be back in as backup?
The Broncos continue to be bizarrer and bizarrer.