The news regarding Travis Henry is less than 12 hours old, but I have already made up my mind. I usually don't rush to judgment, try not to have the knee-jerk reaction that is so prevalent around the blogosphere, but not this time. Travis Henry violated my trust, embarrassed me as a fan, and made the organization we all hold so dear look bad. For that I have little patience and I am full of rushed judgment and knee-jerk reactions.
I know some out there will want to wait for the process to unfold and we are likely to hear little form the team, especially with pending litigation. Luckily I don't have to follow the same rules or be held to the same gag order. The Broncos should immediately suspend Travis Henry, remove him from the football field. This may seem harsh to some, but when compared to the commitment the Broncos made to Henry in terms of $$$, it's the least the team should do.
Don't start talking to me about "innocent until proven guilty" or any of that BS. Travis Henry, even in suing the NFL, isn't claiming his innocence, he's not saying he didn't test positive. Instead, Henry is spending a lot of money, money that should be going to any of his 9 children, in trying to get off the hook because of a technicality, a loop hole in the collective bargaining agreement. I am sure there are good reasons for the stipulation Henry is contesting to be included in the CBA, but it still doesn't change the fact that Henry, with the risk of a 1-year suspension staring him right in the face, and knowing his slate would be clean on October 1 decided to smoke up, in turn disregarding his new city, fans, coaches, and most importantly, his new teammates.
Maybe it's because Henry is only 4 games into his stay in Denver, maybe it's because I always thought in the back of my mind that Henry was walking a fine line. I remember when Henry first signed with the Broncos and was asked about his thoughts regarding Pot, his answers were a bit non-committal, almost defiant. Henry seemed to be walking the straight and narrow because he had to, not because he wanted to or because of the commitment he made to the Broncos and his teammates.
While I was cautiously optimistic about Henry at first, the news about his 9 children, with nine different women, soured me somewhat. To be honest, it wasn't the fact that Henry had so many kids, what he wants to do in his own time is his business, but it went a long way to show the kind of character he had, to show what type of person Henry is. I felt worse about Henry when it came to light that he borrowed money from the Tennessee Titans to pay child support. All of a sudden it started to become clear why the Titan would let their offensive MVP from 2006 walk with nothing to show for it.
Now this, which happens at a time when the Broncos are struggling, questions about the defense abound, and the team has lost two straight. Henry was a bright spot, leading the league in rushing through 4 weeks, a seemingly bringing some consistency back to the running game. That is all gone now, and the Broncos should turn the page and close the book. It was questionable that Henry would play this weekend due to injury and the Broncos should remove any doubt. Send Henry home to deal with whatever it is he needs to deal with and let this team, which has had to deal with so much adversity this year, move on with the 52 other guys that DO want to play football, that DO want to turn the season around, that DO care about themselves and each other.
Shanny said it best back in March when the Broncos signed Henry and was asked about the risk involved. "I talked to him about that," Shanahan said. "He knows this is his last chance. He knows if he screws up, he's gone. Sometimes that's better than a guy who's only got one strike. When a guy knows he doesn't get another chance and he's got a chance for financial security on a great team, he's got a chance to do something special.
"For him to take a chance to do anything would be completely stupid."
Stupid is as stupid does, I guess.