Matt Russell rear-ends police cruiser, faces DUI charges

Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell was arrested Saturday night in Breckenridge, and faces charges of driving under the influence, careless driving resulting in injury, having an open container of alcohol in his car, and failure to display proof of insurance.

Russell first struck a car in Frisco, and police in the area were on the lookout for his vehicle, when he crashed into a Breckenridge police cruiser. The officer in the vehicle was hospitalized with what were thankfully minor injuries, and has since been released.

CBS 4's Jeff Todd reports that Russell registered a blood alcohol content of .246 in a Breathalyzer test at the time of his arrest.

The 40-year-old CU Buff legend reportedly posted $1,000 bond and was released Sunday after spending the night in the Summit County Jail.

Russell won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker in 1996, was enshrined in the CU Athletic HOF last November, and was said to be interested in Colorado's AD vacancy in May.

Jeff Legwold suggests that the seriousness of the charges could end up jeopardizing Russell's gig with the Broncos, but if that's the case, then Russell will have been held to a far stricter standard than current Broncos players Matt Prater and Knowshon Moreno, and former Broncos such as D.J. Williams, Brandon Marshall, Karl Paymah, John Mobley, and Brian Griese.

The team didn't get rid of any of those players in response to their arrests and/or convictions, so it would set a bold new precedent were they to cut bait with Russell.

We don't know which moves to credit/blame Russell with from his four years at Dove Valley, but FWIW, his power has grown recently, and he's drawn praise from around the league.

What is certain, is that this is an embarrassing incident for the Broncos and Russell, it sets a terrible example for the players, and drunk driving should never be taken lightly.

To that end, a statement released by the team includes words from Russell...

I deeply regret the poor judgment I demonstrated that resulted in my arrest over the weekend. I apologize to the Denver Broncos, our fans and the National Football League for this inexcusable mistake. I’m ashamed that I represented this region and the Broncos organization in the manner that I did. I take complete responsibility for my actions and will be fully accountable. Going forward, I will take steps to ensure this never happens again.

...and from the organization:

Our organization is extremely disappointed and concerned with the incident involving Matt Russell. We immediately expressed our disappointment to Matt, and he is fully aware of the seriousness of this situation. This type of behavior is unacceptable and very troubling. We expect better from all employees, particularly those in leadership positions. These allegations completely contradict the values and beliefs of the Broncos regarding social responsibility.

We are continuing to gather information and will handle this matter appropriately and in accordance with all NFL policies.

Here's Russell's mug shot from Saturday, via USA Today's Lindsay Jones:


Updated 5:53pm ET

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM