Ashley Lelie follow-up...
It is official. Lelie has agreed to pay the Denver Broncos a grand total in the realm of of $982,000. It breaks down like this:
23 days skipped in training camp at $14,000 per day for a subtotal of $322,000.
1/5 of his $3.3 million signing bonus (he originally signed for 6 years, but because he reached certain incentive clauses in his contract the 6th year was voided) which comes out at $660,000.
His contract calls for him to be paid $600,000 for 2006 (he could have made $700,00, but he decided to pass up on the $100,000 bonus he would have received for joining the team in "voluntary" workouts, deciding to stay at home and work out there), which means that he is going to have to pay Denver $382,000, and that is AFTER he signs over his paychecks.
If you remember, he was holding out because he felt he deserved to be classified (and of course PAID) like a #1 receiver. As I said before, the numbers don't show he deserves either of those things. But I do think he would have had a better shot at MAKING them in the next year or two if he had stayed with the team that has a quarterback who knows how to be a passer instead of a thrower (with a 1st round pick rookie QB who will be, in my humble opinion, a star in the NFL within a few years) and two receivers who are either a 12 year veteran who won't be playing a whole lot longer or a receiver who is coming back from MAJOR reconstructive knee surgery. Now he is in a pool of receivers who are at best non-descript (how many of you drafted Brian Finneran, Michael Jenkins, Adam Jennings, Roddy White, or Kevin Youngblood to be on YOUR fantasy team this year?) and with an inaccurate quarterback who has the greatest value in Franchise Mode of Madden '07. Lelie was never a huge fan of going over the middle (questions about his toughness abound), and now he is going to be required to do so MORE often if for no other reason than to help clear out a space for Alge Crumpler, who is probably the best receiver on their roster. I am expecting more than a few "alligator arm" catches (or lack thereof) this year.
Right now I am making an open plea to the Denver Broncos to use this money for a good cause. If there is nothing local that really catches the eyes of the front office, may I suggest a donation to the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, a charity that helps abused children in NFL cities and has a goal of building a Courage House in every city that has an NFL team. Seeing how Denver is currently lacking such a Courage House, a donation of just under $1 million dollars could go a long way to breaking ground on one.
Just to be clear, there are currently 17 Courage Houses. They are located in the following places...
There are 32 NFL teams. That means that 15 cities have no Courage House. Denver can make amends for that here.
Sorry if I got on my soapbox there. It just seems like one of the best ways to use money from a self centered, egotistical sap is to use it to build a place that is the antithesis of "me first". And please, if you are reading this, take a moment to check out the website ( the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation ) and see what you can do to help.