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Broncos release Willis McGahee

Willis McGahee AP

On Tuesday, we pointed out that running back Willis McGahee didn’t get many reps upon his return to the Broncos after skipping the voluntary portion of the offseason schedule working out on his own.

Those reps won’t be going up anytime soon. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Broncos have released McGahee. McGahee alluded to the possibility that he’d be asked to turn in his playbook earlier this week, saying that “if something happens, it happens” when asked about the competition at running back in Denver.

McGahee’s departure signals confidence in that competition, particularly Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball. They’ve gotten the majority of work with the first team this spring with McGahee in Miami and Knowshon Moreno rehabbing his own knee injury, but it was widely expected that the Broncos would wait until training camp before making any decisions about the future of the two missing veterans. That proved incorrect and McGahee’s $2.5 million salary for the coming season may have also played a role in the decision to cut ties now.

McGahee is 31 and coming off a knee injury of his own, but he’ll still likely draw interest from teams looking for help in the backfield. He’s a more appealing prospect than other veteran free agents like Brandon Jacobs and Michael Turner and brings a more versatile skill set with him than Cedric Benson, although the experience of other older backs this offseason suggests it won’t be a stampede for McGahee’s services.

UPDATE 10:55 a.m. ET: The Broncos have officially announced the move.

“It’s never easy to part ways with a veteran player who made so many positive contributions to our team and community,” John Elway said in a statement. “I appreciate all of the competitiveness, toughness and leadership Willis brought to the Broncos. He was an integral part of our team’s turnaround during the past two seasons, and I wish him the best as he continues his NFL career.”

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48 Responses to “Broncos release Willis McGahee”
  1. crownofthehelmet says: Jun 13, 2013 10:58 AM

    Get him OZ, bring him back to Baltimore.

    – Ryan Clark

  2. rooneyruleblues says: Jun 13, 2013 10:59 AM

    You’re not in training camp, Willis.

  3. datmilehighswagistoodamnhigh says: Jun 13, 2013 11:00 AM

    they’ll prolly resign him if Ball or Moreno go down again. Dudes still got left in the tank

  4. skinsfanwill says: Jun 13, 2013 11:03 AM

    At least give the man a chance to win his spot back. He gave that ball club well more than 2.5 million worth of effort.

  5. goraidersgospurs says: Jun 13, 2013 11:03 AM

    Thank You Denver the guy drove me crazy!!!

  6. danarchy says: Jun 13, 2013 11:04 AM

    I I still remember Rosenhaus saying this guy would be a Pro Bowler his first year after knee surgery. Bust.

  7. browns627 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:04 AM

    i am truly shocked!

  8. siknutty says: Jun 13, 2013 11:06 AM

    Not going to miss this guys fumbles that’s for sure.

  9. proteus914 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:07 AM

    That $2.5 Million salary did him in.
    Thanks for everything you did for us (Whatchoo talkin bout) Willis! Still got some mileage left…hope he doesn’t come back with another team and burn us.

  10. bigdan7885 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:07 AM

    Jets

  11. calibear831 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:07 AM

    C’min Raiders pick him up!, we need that RB 1, 2 punch again like we once had!

  12. mataug says: Jun 13, 2013 11:08 AM

    surprised considering how much value Peyton places in the pass blocking abilities of a RB

  13. therillest says: Jun 13, 2013 11:08 AM

    Jaguars…

  14. pioniere says: Jun 13, 2013 11:08 AM

    Probably didn’t help himself by not working out with the team. Out of sight, out of mind…

  15. mataug says: Jun 13, 2013 11:09 AM

    come back on lower salary after checking with the rest of the teams ?

  16. ranger764 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:14 AM

    Willis did a nice job while he was in Denver and I thank him for that (just wish he did not fumble so much last year!)

    Good luck man!

  17. addict2sport says: Jun 13, 2013 11:17 AM

    You mean, 1 punch after DMAC gets hurt again (I hope I’m wrong) but I’m with you on that. Raiders could use him.

  18. raidermark says: Jun 13, 2013 11:17 AM

    Now what are they going to do?? Their running attack was already anemic.

  19. flaccodelic says: Jun 13, 2013 11:19 AM

    crownofthehelmet says:
    Jun 13, 2013 10:58 AM
    Get him OZ, bring him back to Baltimore.

    – Ryan Clark

    ——-

    Dude, you should probably be more concerned with the Steelers run game, or lack thereof. Do you have a starter at this point?

  20. henryjones20 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:21 AM

    miami homecoming

  21. bobbob1eye says: Jun 13, 2013 11:29 AM

    Dolphins makes sense. He can join a fellow U alumni with Miller in the backfield and go home to Miami.

  22. polo550 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:32 AM

    crownofthehelmet says:

    Get him OZ, bring him back to Baltimore.

    – Ryan Clark
    ————————————————–

    On second thought OZ, we could use him. We have absolutely no running game to speak of. Maybe he can make our awful offensive line look better than it really is. Anything is better than seeing our QB on his butt after every play. McGahee can’t be worse than what we have. Sign him up.

    -Ryan Clark

  23. realdealsteel says: Jun 13, 2013 11:33 AM

    Mcgahee would be a good move for the Dallas Deadcows. Based on Murray’s injury history.

  24. dbfan4ever says: Jun 13, 2013 11:33 AM

    I will never forget what Willis told reporters what the first thing he told Peyt0n Manning was after Manning came to the team. Willis said that the first thing he told Manning (after playing with Tebow the previous year) was that Denver is still a run first team! Funny stuff!

  25. redeemerac says: Jun 13, 2013 11:35 AM

    The fact he played in this league for over 10 years, and high level is nothing short of astonishing. Do we remember the catastrophic knee injury in the National Championship, I for one never thought he would play again, and if he did, he would be out of the league in 3 years.

    Well done Willis, a testament to never quitting and giving hope to guys like Frank Gore, and Marcus Lattimore.

  26. broncofaninfla45 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:37 AM

    Great running back but fumbles way too much. Add the $2.5 million dollar contract and the addition of M. Ball and this move makes total sense. Willis will get the yards, TD’s and first downs but coughs the ball up way too much.

  27. thedoubleentandres says: Jun 13, 2013 11:39 AM

    As a Broncos fan I will be sad to see him go, he did everything asked of him for the last couple seasons but I must say I am salivating over the prospect of this Ball, Hillman 1, 2 Punch. Cannot wait for this season

  28. knowledge743 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:43 AM

    I think he still has a good year left…I always liked him. Solid back.. good number 2 at this stage in his career ..

  29. cospgsmadman says: Jun 13, 2013 11:50 AM

    That’s a shame

  30. jayniner says: Jun 13, 2013 11:53 AM

    Pretty sure there are more than a few teams that desperately need someone like him….

  31. southpaw2k says: Jun 13, 2013 11:55 AM

    calibear831 says:
    Jun 13, 2013 11:07 AM
    C’min Raiders pick him up!, we need that RB 1, 2 punch again like we once had!

    —————————————————

    A McFadden/McGahee backfield wouldn’t exactly be Marcus Allen/Bo Jackson 2.0.

  32. channer81 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:01 PM

    McGahee will find work, he averaged 4.5 yards per carry last year and almost 5 the year before with Tebow at QB. His comeback from that freak knee injury in the BC championship game to rush for over 1k yards his rookie year is something I won’t forget.

  33. EJ says: Jun 13, 2013 12:08 PM

    McGahee has enough left in him to help a team as a change-up type back, but that’s about it. I can see him helping out a team with a bunch of young runners that need guidance learning one of the biggest needs of a running back today, Pass Protection. Since the league is setting aside more running for passing, Its a major help to be a solid pass-protector, and it is one of McGahee’s strong points.

    I was mad when Buffalo used a draft pick on him, but was even more pissed off to see him talk down about the City of Buffalo, especially when the City embraced him even though he gimped into Buffalo and sat a year.
    Major “me” player that never really lived up to the hype.

  34. teek77 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:11 PM

    The Jets or the Fins would be the most logical choices. If the knee has healed properly, he’s a good blocker and a skilled runner. I think Denver made a mistake on this one.

  35. scmems07 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:12 PM

    I think he would be a good fit for cle or sd, they both have young talented rb’s but taking the load off Matthews and Richardson will really help them, especially Their health and longevity.

  36. justintuckrule says: Jun 13, 2013 12:37 PM

    He should sue the team. Looks to me they cut him simply because he didn’t show for OTAs. The timing is way too peculiar.

  37. ruthlessburgher says: Jun 13, 2013 12:42 PM

    “McGahee, turn in your playbook…we are releasing you.” – Elway

    “Whatchu talkin’ bout?” – Willis

  38. richc111 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:45 PM

    Willis is a loser, I rememer when an OL from Pittsburgh was talking about Tebow and his effect in the locker room. He said Tim was alway about team 1st and that is it and the only guys that have an issue with the attention he was getting are self centered anyway. The next day Willis chimes in about why everyone was ignore his accomblishments for the year and that he should be getting some of the credit. that = being a loser.

  39. larrydavid7000 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:47 PM

    That was a Dumb Move.!!!!!!

  40. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jun 13, 2013 1:01 PM

    Too bad the Broncos weren’t able to draft Le’veon Bell. His NFL career will be far superior to that of Montee Ball’s.
    It was really funny how everyone thumbs downed me for stating the obvious. That Bell was the best back in the draft. He should have been a first rounder for sure. He can do everything well. Blocking, catching passes out of the backfield etc… and he has an amazing combo of speed and size. He can run you over or outrun you. Or every once in a while he’ll just jump right over you.
    I honestly never heard much about this clown Giovani Bernard in college and I’m not sure why the Bengals would have taken him over Bell. I guess it’s just because they’re the Bengals. Bell will put Bernard to shame and the Bengals will also realize they made a mistake.

  41. meegwell says: Jun 13, 2013 1:10 PM

    calibear831 says:
    Jun 13, 2013 11:07 AM
    C’min Raiders pick him up!, we need that RB 1, 2 punch again like we once had!

    —————————————————

    A McFadden/McGahee backfield wouldn’t exactly be Marcus Allen/Bo Jackson 2.0.

    >>>>

    calibear831 there was no successfull allen/jackson combo…jackson was brought in to spite allen…his success was already Raider history (via our third world championship.

    Try Charlie Garner/Tyrone Wheatly

  42. packerhater says: Jun 13, 2013 1:23 PM

    datmilehighswagistoodamnhigh says:Jun 13, 2013 11:00 AM

    they’ll prolly resign him if Ball or Moreno go down again. Dudes still got left in the tank

    What the heck is prolly?

  43. denverdude7 says: Jun 13, 2013 2:05 PM

    Thanks for the effort Mr. McGahee.

    Too bad we couldn’t have gotten you a Super Bowl ring.

    You have always been a class act and we wish you the best in the future. Just not against us.

    Sincerely,
    Bronco Nation

  44. armypilot1 says: Jun 13, 2013 3:39 PM

    Appreciate everything you have done Willis.

    To the dude who said he was a bust… do you even watch football? The guy has had a solid career… especially for his position.

  45. blackdonnelly says: Jun 13, 2013 4:04 PM

    I’m not a Broncos fan but I have respect for McGahee. I hope another AFC West team picks him up just to they can stick it to the Broncos – twice yearly.

  46. fdugrad says: Jun 13, 2013 4:41 PM

    Ten years as a running back in the NFL…Clearly NOT a BUST!!

  47. calibear831 says: Jun 13, 2013 6:49 PM

    meegwell says:Jun 13, 2013 1:10 P
    Mcalibear831 says:Jun 13, 2013 11:07 AMC’min Raiders pick him up!, we need that RB 1, 2 punch again like we once had!—————————————————
    A McFadden/McGahee backfield wouldn’t exactly be Marcus Allen/Bo Jackson 2.0.

    >>>>calibear831 there was no successfull allen/jackson combo…jackson was brought in to spite allen…his success was already Raider history (via our third world championship.Try Charlie Garner/Tyrone Wheatly
    ——————————–
    I was talking more in the lines of a Darren Mcfadden/ Michael Bush kind of duo that we use to have

  48. fubar5150 says: Jun 14, 2013 12:13 PM

    Should have dumped No-show he is the BUST!!!

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