Broncos release backup quarterback Chad Kelly after arrest

The Broncos cut quarterback Chad Kelly after his trespassing arrest. (AP)
The Broncos cut quarterback Chad Kelly after his trespassing arrest. (AP)

There were moments the past few weeks in which it seemed the Denver Broncos might give quarterback Chad Kelly some snaps, to see what they had in the young player.

If Kelly ever gets those snaps, they will come with another team.

The Broncos cut their intriguing young backup quarterback on Wednesday, a day after news of his arrest for trespassing was reported. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said general manager John Elway mulled the decision Tuesday and decided to cut Kelly on Wednesday.

It’s a heck of a costly arrest for Kelly, who had practically become a cult figure in Denver while starter Case Keenum had his struggles early in the season.

Chad Kelly fell in 2017 NFL draft due to red flags

Kelly was the final pick of the 2017 draft. He fell in the draft, in part, because of some off-field issues, including an incident in Buffalo in which he traded blows with two bouncers and said, “I’m going to go to my car and get my AK-47 and spray this place.” The Broncos presumably drafted him with a low-tolerance policy. Kelly’s arrest was enough to cause them to cut ties.

Kelly, the nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, was charged with first-degree criminal trespassing after officers responded to a call at 1:17 a.m. local time on Tuesday.

According to the arrest affidavit, Kelly entered a residence, sat down on a couch next to a woman holding her young child and “mumbled incoherently.” Kelly was hit with an aluminum vacuum tube by the male homeowner and left the house. Police found Kelly in a black SUV outside the Gothic Theatre, where Broncos linebacker Von Miller held his annual Halloween party for Broncos players on Monday night.

NFL Network also reported that Kelly had a physical altercations with a guest at Miller’s party and with security while being escorted out of the party.

For someone who was drafted by the Broncos only after Jim Kelly talked to Elway about his nephew’s character, it was enough for the team to simply move on. Even after Chad Kelly had been fairly impressive in the preseason.

Kelly had a good preseason

Broncos fans love their backup quarterback, no matter who it is. And it was especially true with Kelly after he had a very good preseason.

He was 40-of-60 for 466 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in the preseason. While he didn’t deserve the over-the-top love Broncos fans had for him — they cheered wildly when Kelly came in to take a knee at the end of the first half against the Rams while Keenum was being checked for a concussion — he showed promise. He was good enough that the Broncos cut former first-round pick Paxton Lynch and made Kelly their backup.

That kneel-down will be Kelly’s only regular-season play with the Broncos. Had Keenum continued to struggle, Kelly might have gotten a chance later in the season. Certainly Broncos fans were calling for it. Kelly blew a good opportunity.

Another team might take a shot on Kelly because he has talent and is on a very cheap rookie deal. But now he comes with more baggage than ever.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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