Denver Broncos Executives Suspended For DUIs
By Allen Kim
The Denver Broncos have handed out suspensions to executives Matt Russell and Tom Heckert, according to Mike Kils of the Denver Post.
Russell, the Broncos director of player personnel, has been suspended indefinitely without pay. His punishment was harsher due to the nature of the incident. He has been charged with driving under the influence after blowing over three times the blood-alcohol content limit, careless driving resulting in injury — one of the two cars that he hit was a police car, and the officer was taken a local hospital following the accident for neck and back pain — having an open container of alcohol and failure to display proof of insurance.
Heckert, the Broncos director of pro personnel, was suspended for one month without pay. He was arrested after being seen weaving in and out of his lane, measuring at a blood-alcohol content roughly two times above the legal limit.
“We all have an individual responsibility to represent this team in the appropriate manner at all times,” said Elway in a statement released by the team. “It’s particularly disappointing that two members of my staff acted so irresponsibly. Simply put, it’s unacceptable and inexcusable.”
According to Mike Garafalo of FoxSports, the NFL has stated that no further discipline will be coming from the league office. However, the Broncos may be subject to further fines via the NFL’s salary remittance policy. Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network regarding the salary remittance policy:
“Under the 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.”
This is a huge blow to the Denver Broncos front office, as Russell and Heckert are No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, behind John Elway. And to further add to the Broncos recent spate of run-ins with the law, the Denver Post has discovered that Quentin Saulsberry was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving back on May 19.