ENGLEWOOD – The Broncos have waived backup quarterback Chad Kelly following his arrest for first-degree criminal trespass. 9News was the first to report of Kelly's release.
Kevin Hogan is now the Broncos’ backup quarterback to starter Case Keenum.
Kelly is a former star quarterback from the Buffalo area and Ole Miss who has a long history of trouble.
Multiple sources told 9NEWS that Kelly and his girlfriend attended a Halloween party hosted Monday night by Broncos star Von Miller at the Gothic Theatre in Englewood. At some point during the evening, sources said Kelly started acting in a hostile, aggressive manner and was removed to cool off.
Security tried to keep Kelly within the building to settle him down, but he broke through and ran off outside the building. Kelly wound up a block away at a home in the 3200 block of South Lincoln Street a little after 1 a.m., according to police.
“This was a decision that we made as an organization,” Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement. “After reviewing all the information and in talking with Vance (Joseph) and 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.”
Kelly did appear in court briefly Wednesday but his hearing was rescheduled for Nov. 8.
A woman was sitting on a couch holding her young child when Kelly sat down next to her, according to the arrest affidavit filed by the Englewood police department. The woman called for a man in the house, who entered the living room and confronted Kelly, and the man struck Kelly with an aluminum vacuum tube, the affidavit says.
Kelly left the scene – one source told 9NEWS he did not know the people inside the home – and returned to the Gothic just as the Halloween party was breaking up. Kelly was about to leave the theater via Uber when he was apprehended by Englewood police and charged with first degree criminal trespass.
Kelly appeared in Arapahoe County Court Tuesday morning on the charge. He showed up with his girlfriend and attorney Harvey Steinberg and the case was quickly continued until Nov. 8.
"Mike, I'm not talking,'' Kelly told 9NEWS as he left the Arapahoe County Courtroom. Elway had notified Kelly in person of his release roughly 20 minutes before his court hearing.
The Broncos’ hierarchy – including chief executive officer Joe Ellis, general manager John Elway and head coach Vance Joseph – were notified of Kelly’s arrest before 2 a.m. Tuesday and spent much of the day gathering information on Kelly’s incident and discussing options on the best course of action to take.
Consideration was given to dismissing Kelly from the team for a week until the team could learn more facts but as the day went on and more information was gathered, the organization decided collectively it was best to make a clean break from its backup quarterback.
Simply put, Elway reached the conclusion the organization can not tolerate the type of behavior Kelly exhibited Monday night and into Tuesday morning.
Thus, the Kelly era with the Broncos amounted to one, kneel-down snap. He wasn’t selected until the final pick of the 2017 NFL Draft partly because of a torn ACL and right wrist ligament, but also because of character concerns.
He was kicked off Clemson’s team for conduct detrimental to the team. He was arrested for punching out a bouncer at a bar in 2014 and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in that incident. He was accused of escalating a brawl during a high school football game when he ran out of the stands and onto the field to stick up for his younger brother.
Elway took a chance on the fiery Kelly, who is a nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, by making him the 253rd and final pick of the 2017 draft. Kelly spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve to mend his knee and wrist, then beat out former first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch during the preseason for the Broncos’ No. 2 quarterback job.
Through the Broncos’ first seven regular-season games, though, Kelly received just one snap – a kneel-down to end the first half in a week 6 game against Los Angeles as Keenum was getting checked for a possible concussion.
Keenum was cleared and returned to play the second half. Kelly will no longer have a chance to replace him.
The Broncos claimed Hogan, a former Stanford standout, off waivers from Washington just prior to the start of this season. Hogan, who just turned 26, played sparingly the previous two seasons with the pitiful Cleveland Browns. The Broncos are expected to add a third quarterback, either to their practice squad or 53-man roster.