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Willis McGahee asked for more money from Broncos

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Willis McGahee bounced back in a major way for the Broncos in 2011 and he wants to get paid for it.

McGahee ran for 1,199 yards last season and wound up in the Pro Bowl, a pretty nice rebound from a 380-yard season as Ray Rice’s backup in 2010. The Broncos paid him $3 million for that production and they have him under contract for $2 million in 2012, pleasant numbers given how much some less productive running backs made last season. That’s probably why McGahee went to the team and asked for more money.

Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that the Broncos aren’t going to renegotiate a four-year deal after the first season, a stance which makes sense. McGahee got a nice contract after three years of declining results in Baltimore and the Broncos’ overall success running the ball makes it hard to argue that McGahee’s numbers were totally a product of his own ability. Once Tim Tebow took over at quarterback, Denver went heavy on the run and McGahee was the beneficiary of that decision.

That’s not to say that he didn’t play well, just that years have taught us a lot about the relative fungibility of running backs in the NFL and what happens to them when they turn 30. McGahee hit that age in October and he’ll need to show that he’s able to repeat this year’s success before he’ll have a compelling case for an adjustment to his contract. Klis reports McGahee has no plans to hold out so there shouldn’t be much more discussion on this front.

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32 Responses to “Willis McGahee asked for more money from Broncos”
  1. canetic says: Mar 4, 2012 8:43 AM

    Without McGahee the Broncos (aka Tebow) would be lucky to win two games.

  2. phillyphan72 says: Mar 4, 2012 8:44 AM

    Whatchu talking about Willis

  3. watermelon1 says: Mar 4, 2012 9:01 AM

    The beneficiary of getting to run more because Tebow took over?!?

    More like… absolutely killing it despite facing 8, 9, and 10 man fronts because NOBODY was worried about Tebow killing them through the air.

    Declining returns in Baltimore? More like… declining opportunities due to a stubborn front office who insists that every single draft pick they make is gold and they will stop at nothing to prove it no matter the consequences. Kyle Boller anyone?

    McGahee was clearly the Ravens better all-around back. Ray Rice was probably a little better a receiver, but McGahee is clearly the better runner, and infinitely better at pass protection.

  4. jmclarkent says: Mar 4, 2012 9:03 AM

    I can only assume that McGahee’s request was met with “What you talkin’ bout, Willis?”

  5. nflfollower says: Mar 4, 2012 9:13 AM

    He knew they would say no. But it sets the stage for next offseason should he play well again.

  6. benh999 says: Mar 4, 2012 9:19 AM

    If McGahee had terrible production, how much of his compensation would he be giving back??

  7. tybrew says: Mar 4, 2012 9:28 AM

    I too want more money from my job….not going to happen

  8. IrsaysTwitterThumb says: Mar 4, 2012 10:33 AM

    I think McGahee is out of touch with today’s payscale for runningbacks.

    $3m is just about right for a runner who has been inconsistent over the course of his career.

  9. teamgoku says: Mar 4, 2012 10:34 AM

    I am a Bronco fan and was glad to see Willis perform as well as he did, but all these cry baby athletes need a reality check.

    I mean dude you made 3 million last year at 30 years old, im 31 and haven’t made 3 million in my life time so shut your over paid mouths you big babies.

  10. IrsaysTwitterThumb says: Mar 4, 2012 10:34 AM

    I totally have the throw the BS flag on watermelon1 for saying McGahee is a better football player than Ray Rice.

  11. thetooloftools says: Mar 4, 2012 10:51 AM

    fungibility – i learned something. never heard of it. When I first saw it I thought it was something that grew between the toes.

  12. tommyf15 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:00 AM

    teamgoku says: im 31 and haven’t made 3 million in my life time so shut your over paid mouths you big babies.

    Because it’s all about YOU, right?

    If you want McGahee’s three million, go do a better job than he does. Otherwise find yourself a pacifier and a corner to sit in.

  13. jrosenbaum says: Mar 4, 2012 11:05 AM

    Hey, if he’s not going to hold out, no harm in asking. The Vulture was awesome last year and hopefully he can do even better in 2012.

  14. wilddeuce03 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:18 AM

    Willis better than Rice? Get real!!!

    That being said, it was a good story seeing Willis have a productive season. If he was quoted as saying that he was going to miss training camp if he didn’t get a raise then the negative comments are justified. But he didn’t. He’s simply a RB on the wrong side of 30 and asking for a raise. What’s wrong with that? It’s already talked about ad naseum of how short a RB’s shelf life is. So why not try and capitalize on the season he had?!

  15. cuda1234 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:22 AM

    No running back who plays with Tebow will ever sniff a performance bonus because when its glory time, Timmy will ALWAYS call his own number.

    If Tebow was great for rb’s you could probably name all the backs at UF who Timmy “made better” since that’s one of the magical skills constantly attributed to him.

    But you can’t name one. Not ONE.

  16. forthelove says: Mar 4, 2012 11:23 AM

    benh999 says:
    Mar 4, 2012 9:19 AM
    If McGahee had terrible production, how much of his compensation would he be giving back??
    ——————-
    Uhhh… all of it (or all of the non-guaranteed), cause the team could cut him if he underperformed. See: Routt, Stanford.

  17. rawgator06 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:24 AM

    I agree with watermelon1. Now, for competition’s sake, please put McGahee back in the AFC North and get Ray Rice out of there…then the Steelers will have to face a “better” back

  18. tnttaxi says: Mar 4, 2012 11:30 AM

    Asking for restructuring. You haven’t even completed half of the contract? You know it will be extremely hard to do back-to-back 1000 yard seasons…what a smuck…

  19. blackstonevalleykettlebells says: Mar 4, 2012 11:32 AM

    Willis McGahee is a pretender. He’s done nothing for 5 years.

  20. opneon says: Mar 4, 2012 11:41 AM

    I agree with rawgator…watermelon is full of something other than seeds. McGahee is a fine back who may not have gotten his touches in Baltimore, but that is because Rice is a special talent who can not only run and catch, but does a fine job blocking. The few times he was beat was because a lineman made a mistake, not because Ray missed a blitz or something. So, McGahee deserves a lot of credit (and $$$) for his contributions on both teams, but Rice is more substantial than Watermelon!

  21. bleed4philly says: Mar 4, 2012 12:04 PM

    In their offense, backs should get more, receivers should get less.

  22. lilrob10201 says: Mar 4, 2012 12:14 PM

    Just take a look @ Peyton Hillis.

  23. kchi55 says: Mar 4, 2012 12:28 PM

    Why does every PFT article about running backs have the word ‘fungible’ in sprinkled in there somewhere? We get it already, its a fun word to say.

  24. yogikenobi says: Mar 4, 2012 12:37 PM

    IMO the way things are turning out, the standard RB contract should be heavily based on incentives. We’re getting to the point that guys aren’t really having the productive 10 year runs, so very few are getting paid what they deserve when they deserve it.

  25. situsavaisprier says: Mar 4, 2012 12:58 PM

    As well as McGahee has played, he has also been injury prone. I would personally want him to do this type of performance again and move accordingly from there. McGahee is good and can still run well and run hard don’t get me wrong, but when you are injured whether it’s your hand or your hamstring, it affects the team too.

  26. illiniftw says: Mar 4, 2012 2:01 PM

    Incentive contracts sound great in theory, but imagine all the complaining over the amount of touches players get, the play calling, etc.

  27. cornersportsnet says: Mar 4, 2012 2:02 PM

    Hey try to get all you can because once It’s over It’s over they will throw you away like a piece of meat and Willis McAfee is not as good as ray rice Not close

  28. dolphins4 says: Mar 4, 2012 2:19 PM

    McGahee is better than Rice at 1 thing and that is fumbling ,everytime I watched the Broncos he was coughing up the ball.

  29. jimmyactionzer0 says: Mar 4, 2012 2:19 PM

    I just think back to how his fumble almost gave the steelers the game

  30. crp63 says: Mar 4, 2012 3:01 PM

    teamgoku says:Mar 4, 2012 10:34 AM

    I am a Bronco fan and was glad to see Willis perform as well as he did, but all these cry baby athletes need a reality check.

    I mean dude you made 3 million last year at 30 years old, im 31 and haven’t made 3 million in my life time so shut your over paid mouths you big babies.

    One thing you need to remember is that he’s got 31 mouths to feed.They should pay him based on the number of names of his kids that he does know,and if he want’s a raise he has to name all of Cromartie’s kids……

  31. orcheon says: Mar 4, 2012 4:23 PM

    Running backs always get such a raw deal in terms of compensation. They take more of a beating than anyone on the field.

    It’s even worse with the new CBA. The average running back plays in the league for what, two years? Their rookie contract is likely to be all they will ever make.

  32. knicks4life says: Mar 4, 2012 11:26 PM

    3.5 mill is fair

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