Broncos Will Discuss DUI Discipline Today
The Denver Broncos senior executives will meet today at the team’sDoveValleyfacility to discuss discipline for the DUI’s of personnel chiefs Matt Russell and Tom Heckert. While neither man is expected to lose their jobs I expect the Broncos to drop the hammer a little bit on this with financial repercussions and suspensions.
Denver Broncos president Joe Ellis has been publicly critical of the team executives in the wake of two DUI charges. Ellis said "We're not perfect. We've made our errors. We admit it. You can say we apologized for it -- but I think an apology rings hollow when you run into the back of a police car or you're blowing a blood-alcohol limit that's three times the legal limit. I don't think fans, I don't think the public, I don't think anybody wants to hear an apology," so I expect the Broncos to be tough on Russell and Heckert. Then the league will get their say.
Under the NFL policy, if a second player or employee is suspended within the same season, the league can fine the team 25 percent of that player or employee's salary up to $200,000. For a third player or employee suspended, the league can fine the club 33 percent of that player or employee's salary up to $350,000. For a fourth player or employee suspended, the league can fine the club 50 percent of that player or employee's salary up to $500,000.
I don’t think the league will have any choice but to hand down some sort of discipline. For the Broncos that would be two suspensions in the same season under the league policy and Matt Russell marks the 28th person from the NFL to be arrested in 2013.
There is an upside to Denver’s off field issues this year. The day after the team learned of Heckert’s arrest coach John Fox gathered his players at midfield and gave them his talk about making good decisions and staying out of trouble. I would say they heeded the advice not to embarrass themselves or the organization. The Broncos open camp on July 25th and all of the players will report with out their lawyers. The same can’t be said of the front office.