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Trade benefits all three franchises

Updated: August 23, 2006, 10:34 AM ET
The three-team trade that sent wide receiver Ashley Lelie to Atlanta late Tuesday might have been one of the most difficult to put together in the past couple of years.

The Broncos wanted a good first-day draft choice or a running back for Lelie, but they weren't completely thrilled with the teams that might have been able to help them out at running back. In addition, during trade talks, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan fell in love with undrafted free agent Mike Bell, who has been named Denver's starting running back. To make things work, a three-way deal had to be put together, and injuries determined how it would be shaped.

First, the Falcons lost wide receiver Brian Finneran for the season, leaving them without a third receiver. Coach Jim Mora told front-office officials over the weekend that he wanted a third receiver and wanted one soon. For weeks, the Falcons had been shopping running back T.J. Duckett, and the Redskins became interested after Clinton Portis dislocated his shoulder. Though Portis is supposed to be ready for the start of the regular season, the Redskins picked up Duckett as insurance. The Redskins gave up the equivalent of a high third-round choice in order to get Duckett, who will be involved in the offense as a big back.

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