Vance Joseph on releasing Chad Kelly: “It was the best thing for the Broncos and for Chad”

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The Broncos decided on Wednesday morning to release quarterback Chad Kelly, a day after he was arrested for first-degree criminal trespass. On Wednesday afternoon, coach Vance Joseph explained the decision to reporters.

“We thought it was the best thing for the Broncos and for Chad,” Joseph said. “That’s our job. It’s to figure out the best thing for the football team. That’s why it was done.”

Joseph was asked whether the same decision would have been made if Kelly had been the starter.

“He wasn’t the starter,” Joseph said. “That’s an irrelevant question. He was the backup. He made a mistake and we had a long discussion about how to handle it. It was to waive Chad. It’s as simple as that. Very simple.”

The decision as to the new backup quarterback is also very simple. Kevin Hogan becomes No. 2, with no immediate plan to add a quarterback.

“Kevin is the backup right now,” Joseph said. “We’ll see as time progresses here.”

But another quarterback could be added; given the initially tepid response from Joseph regarding his confidence in Hogan, maybe that will happen sooner than later.

“Kevin is fine,” Joseph said. “Kevin has played in games, he’s a smart guy, he’s picked it up quick and we have full confidence in Kevin.”

The Broncos also had confidence in Kelly, until they didn’t. At a time when some wonder whether Kelly had other incidents that the media and fans don’t know about, Joseph made it clear that Kelly “didn’t have a pattern at all.”

As one source suggested to PFT, it’s entirely possible that Kelly was drafted despite his background of off-field issues with a clear understanding that he’d be on a one-strike arrangement. That would explain the decision to cut ties with Kelly after only one misstep.