Broncos expect “severe” discipline for executives’ DUI arrests


Two executives in the Broncos’ front office have been arrested for drunk driving, and the team is expecting significant consequences.

Broncos President Joe Ellis told the Denver Post that Matt Russell and Tom Heckert, the top two personnel people under John Elway, have embarrassed the team with their arrests.

“This type of behavior is inexcusable, unacceptable and completely embarrassing,” Ellis said. “It’s embarrassing for us as a franchise, it’s embarrassing for [Broncos owner Pat] Bowlen, it’s especially embarrassing for our fans. We don’t tolerate it and we’re not going to. . . . My expectation is the discipline will be severe.”

Lions President Tom Lewand was suspended for three weeks and fined $100,000 by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his own drunk driving episode in 2010. That may be about what Goodell is planning for the two Broncos executives, although it’s possible that the Broncos could give Russell and Heckert additional punishments.

Ellis said that if Broncos fans are angry, they should be.

“One episode is one too many. Two is ridiculous,” Ellis said. “I understand the outrage in the community, I understand the outrage of the fans. It’s justified. We have an obligation to do the right thing. And we will.”

The right thing may be lengthy suspensions for both Russell and Heckert.