Wrong. It if Denver finished with a worse record and therefore didn't want to swap the firsts, they would get an additional fourth-rounder.
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Broncos trade Lelie in three-way deal
Receiver sent to Falcons; team gets 2007 draft help
Marc Piscotty © News
The Broncos dealt Ashley Lelie as part of a three-way deal with the Redskins and the Falcons Tuesday night. In the end the Falcons ended up with Lelie, the Broncos got draft picks from the Redskins and Washington got running back T.J. Duckett.STORY TOOLS
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By Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News
August 22, 2006
After weeks of proposals and counterproposals in the Broncos' standoff with receiver Ashley Lelie, the trade winds finally blew through the team's Dove Valley complex Tuesday.
The Broncos agreed to terms on a three-way deal that will send Lelie to the Atlanta Falcons once the paperwork is completed. The Falcons will send, according to two league sources, running back T.J. Duckett to the Washington Redskins and the Redskins will send a combination of draft picks to the Broncos.
Based on the teams' finish this season, the Broncos, at best, could end up with the Redskins' first- and third-round picks in the 2007 draft if the Redskins finish with a worse record than the Broncos.
In that scenario, the Broncos and Redskins would flip-flop first-round picks, with Denver moving up in the opening round and the Redskins moving down. The Broncos would then get the Redskins' third-round pick as well.
If the Redskins finish with a better record than the Broncos, Denver gets the Redskins' third- and fourth-round picks in April.
Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist and coach Mike Shanahan could not be reached for comment.
The Broncos had been holding the line that they wanted a first- or second-round pick in exchange for Lelie, or a front-line player.
It is clear the potential to improve their standing in the first round as well as the potential for multiple picks in the 2007 draft were enough to make the deal.
When training camp opened and Shanahan had vowed not to speak on the matter again, he said he wanted "equal value" for Lelie. He also said Lelie should report and compete for the team's No. 1 receiving job if that's what he wanted.
"We're holding all the cards," Shanahan said then.
The three teams were not expected to complete the paperwork on the trade until late this afternoon at the earliest.
The trade will be official when all players and teams have signed the documents.
The Broncos also are believed to have made the trade contingent on an agreement from Lelie to pay the team as much as $1 million - which would cover the fines Lelie has been assessed for missing the team's three-day mandatory minicamp as well as training camp to this point and a portion of Lelie's original $3.3 million signing bonus.
It is unclear if that $1 million would be negotiable at a later date because it is $400,000 more than Lelie is scheduled to make this season.
Because his current contract is traded to the Falcons as well, Lelie is scheduled to earn $600,000 in base salary this season if the Falcons do not redo the deal.
Lelie was fined $14,000 for each missed mandatory day of training camp - the total was $322,000 as of Monday - and he was fined just more than $11,000 for missing minicamp in July.
Lelie is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Lelie did not return a message seeking comment but his agent, Peter Schaffer, said Lelie was happy with the outcome.
"Ashley is pleased the deal was consummated," Schaffer said. "And he is certainly grateful (for) the professionalism shown by the Denver Broncos organization throughout this entire process. Ashley has nothing but good memories from his time in Denver and he's looking forward to the next chapter in his life."
Schaffer had been trying to secure a deal for weeks and had formal discussions with the 49ers, Bears, Eagles and Titans before Tuesday's deal.
The Bears have been known to have offered the Broncos a fourth-rounder for Lelie in recent weeks.
For Lelie, it means he finally gets back on the field after vowing he would not play for the Broncos again if he didn't have to. He has been upset at the prospect of being the "No. 3 receiver with the Broncos" after the team traded for receiver Javon Walker.
Lelie will arrive in Atlanta as the Falcons' No. 3 receiver behind Michael Jenkins and Roddy White. Lelie, according to the NFL sources, recently spoke at length with Falcons officials, who made it clear he was coming to the team as a No. 3.
The Falcons recently lost their No. 3 receiver, Brian Finneran, for the season because of a right knee injury.
Lelie, who was the Broncos' first-round pick in 2002 (196th overall), led the league's regulars in yards per catch in each of the past two seasons and finishes his Broncos tenure with 168 receptions for 3,007 yards - a 17.9 yards per catch average - and 12 touchdowns.