Lelie says he's likely done with Broncos
Former UH and Radford standout asks again for a trade
Wide receiver Ashley Lelie said yesterday he is "pretty sure" he has played his last game for the Denver Broncos.
"I wouldn't say it's 100 percent, but right now it looks that way," the former Radford and Hawaii star and 2002 first round draft pick said in a phone interview with the Star-Bulletin.
The Broncos traded for Packers star wideout Javon Walker over the weekend. Lelie was drafted 19th overall, one spot ahead of Walker four years ago, but Lelie said Walker, a 2004 All-Pro, is now one ahead of him on the Denver depth chart. And that has Lelie ó who was already looking to be traded ó asking again to be moved, louder this time.
Walker was out for all but one game last season with a torn ACL.
"I don't want to go back down to No. 3 without a fair shot," Lelie said. "It's pretty clear what direction the Broncos are headed in."
All-Pro Rod Smith turns 36 this month, but hasn't slowed down. The Broncos also have another former first-round draft pick in David Terrell.
Denver also drafted two wide receivers, both in the fourth round. The Broncos picked Akron's Domenik Hixon and Central Florida's Brandon Marshall. Marshall starred in the Hawaii Bowl and Hula Bowl this year.
The Broncos reportedly have been shopping Lelie, but with no takers yet, and coach Mike Shanahan said he expected that Lelie would still be with Denver this season.
Lelie caught 54 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in 2004, but regressed to 42, 770 and one last year. He remains a deep threat; his yards-per-catch of 18.3 last year led the league, as did his mark of 20.1 the previous season.
"A lot of people right now say my production is low," Lelie said. "Actually, anyone who looks at the tape knows our system dictates that, because we're a running team."
Lelie is skipping the team's organized off-season workouts, and said he will holdout this season if he has to.
"I've mostly been here in Phoenix, working out at Octagon (his agency's facilities)," said Lelie,who is headed into the final year of his contract. "I have nothing against Denver or the fans, they've been great. I've held myself up with class and never been out of line, I'm in a system where you do what you're told. But I'm not going to go to the bench without a fair opportunity to keep my position.
"My best years are definitely ahead. I'm only 26 and haven't had any injuries. I still have at least six or seven good years ahead."