Broncos release RB Travis Henry
DENVER, Colorado ” Broncos coach Mike Shanahan stood behind running back Travis Henry when he fought off an NFL suspension last year, but Shanahan released the embattled player on Monday, saying his commitment to the team was in question.
“We did not feel his commitment to the Broncos was enough to warrant a spot on this football team,” Shanahan said in a written statement.
The Broncos signed Henry to a five-year, $22.5 million contract in March 2007, but he was hampered by injuries in his only season in Denver, rushing for 691 yards on 167 carries with four touchdowns.
Henry injured a hamstring while running 100-yard sprints late last month.
Shanahan called Henry an excellent running back but faulted him for inconsistency.
“He’s just too inconsistent as a person. When you’re too inconsistent as a person, you usually aren’t going to win championships,” the coach said during a spring workout later in the day.
“I’m not going to get into details what he did do or didn’t do,” Shanahan said. “You have to do little things. If you don’t do the little things, obviously you can’t count on somebody. So that’s why he’s released.”
The NFL told Henry in September he had failed a test for marijuana and would be suspended for a year, but Henry challenged the test and the punishment, and won.
Shanahan said he supported Henry then because he believed his player was innocent.
“That’s not the case here,” Shanahan said.
Henry’s agent, Hadley Englehard, was out of the country and did not return telephone and e-mail messages.
Running back Andre Hall said Henry “brought it on himself.”
Asked to explain, Hall said, “I really can’t say too much. I don’t know too much about what’s going on, what happened. I guess he had a hamstring injury. I know he’s supposed to be out here. He’s not hurt.”
Henry was released six days after the Broncos agreed to a one-year deal with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman. Pittman said he didn’t know Henry would be cut loose.
“That’s all in-house. I knew nothing about this until a few minutes ago,” he said.
“I didn’t wish for Travis to be released. I would never wish that upon anybody. I’m always here to compete. I am a competitor. With Travis still here, I would have competed against him,” Pittman said.
Shanahan said he feels good about the running back corps that remains.
“We have a lot of guys going in the right direction. We have a tailback coming back that averaged 5.2 yards a carry (Selvin Young) and some other guys that I have a lot of confidence,” he said.
Before joining the Broncos, Henry played for Tennessee and Buffalo.
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