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Broncos cut middle linebacker Joe Mays

Joe Mays AP

In a surprise move, the Broncos have parted ways with Joe Mays.

Mays, who was a starter when healthy for most of the last two years and expected to start at middle linebacker this year, was instead released at the start of training camp.

Last season Mays was a starter to open the season, but he was suspended for one game for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, then was lost for the season with a broken leg.

It’s unclear whether anything in particular led the Broncos to cut Mays right now, but it’s possible that they simply felt that there was no way they were going to keep him at his $4 million base salary, and that they figured they’d better cut him now and not risk a season-ending injury in training camp, which would force the team to pay his entire salary while he sat out.

The 28-year-old Mays has played the last three seasons for the Broncos after playing two seasons with the Eagles.

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59 Responses to “Broncos cut middle linebacker Joe Mays”
  1. jtfawver says: Jul 23, 2013 12:34 PM

    1 word when I think of Mays. Dirty.

    Wouldn’t want him anywhere near my team.

    Cant cover anyone, but will take cheap shots to act “tough”

  2. unclemoobaa1911 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:35 PM

    wouldn’t mind him coming back to philly.

  3. elwaysagenius says: Jul 23, 2013 12:35 PM

    Maybe it means progress from Nate Irving

  4. dcapettini says: Jul 23, 2013 12:35 PM

    Perhaps the Ravens should consider Joe as an option, given the uncertainty they have at the position. He’s no Ronoldo.

  5. bmorepositive123 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:37 PM

    Welp, if there’s one thing I know about the Eagles inability to play the linebacking position over the half a decade, they could probably use him…

  6. themackstrong says: Jul 23, 2013 12:39 PM

    I haven’t watched many Bronco games but I thought this guy could move and hit like a hammer.

  7. wwwmattcom says: Jul 23, 2013 12:39 PM

    Alright, when was he arrested?, who did he murder?, what drugs did he take?, how fast was he driving?

  8. sbchampsagain says: Jul 23, 2013 12:40 PM

    Mr. Mays’ agent will likely be on the phone with Ozzie at the Ravens.

  9. conormacleod says: Jul 23, 2013 12:40 PM

    Welcome to the Minnesota Vikings Mr. Mays. And here’s your league veteran minimum salary.

  10. ravensterps says: Jul 23, 2013 12:41 PM

    Seems like a ridiculous time to cut a starter if you ask me. The Broncos are a mess right now. Thanks for Dumervil!

  11. sc5000 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:42 PM

    Bout time. Only skill this guy possessed was blasting a guy right in front of him. Horrible in pursuit, horrible against the pass. Not what you need as a 4-3 MLB. The Broncos must like the younger/cheaper talent on the team as well.

  12. fargovikesfan says: Jul 23, 2013 12:43 PM

    Hope he catches on somewhere else, talented kid.

  13. 4thquartermagic says: Jul 23, 2013 12:44 PM

    Not a surprise move at all.

    Mays parlayed his special team play into a nice contract and starting MLB spot last year.

    He got abused in the run game, then got hurt.

    Keith Brooking stepped in and did a much better job, making Mays expendable.

    Here’s hoping Nate Irving or Stephan Johnson can step up there game a bunch this year.

  14. tommyribs says: Jul 23, 2013 12:44 PM

    Mr. Mays, a Mr. Reese from the New York Football GIANTS is on the phone for you.

  15. buddybowl69 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:44 PM

    He was a beast for the Eagles when he played. But they didn’t use him much except for in preseason. For some reason, he wasn’t utilized at middle linebacker, even though he had shown flashes of brilliance. Andy Reid didn’t like him because he thought he was too short, but he was good. I’m sure he will find work some place in the league. Good luck to him.

  16. rushmatic says: Jul 23, 2013 12:45 PM

    Wow, who is left up front on this team from last year’s defense?

  17. jetssuckabig1 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:46 PM

    Probably just causing trouble or a suspension that hasn’t come out yet. Broncos need to get their house under control.

  18. somethingsmellsrotten says: Jul 23, 2013 12:48 PM

    Sweet.

  19. sebbydh says: Jul 23, 2013 12:48 PM

    Its not a surprise. Mays wasnt expected to start. Elway didnt even mention his name in the competition. The writing was on the wall. No way they were gonna pay 4 mil for a backup/ST player. It wasnt a matter of if it was a matter of when..

  20. nfl4days says: Jul 23, 2013 12:53 PM

    They ever find that piece of Matt Schaub’s ear?

  21. officialgame says: Jul 23, 2013 12:55 PM

    All 5’2″ of him gone.

  22. broncosfanman says: Jul 23, 2013 12:59 PM

    Just not sure what took so long. Mays was never any good. Couldnt cover, couldn’t shed blocks, was easily taken out of a play by one lineman, tackling was below average, and the list goes on and on. I guess the FO wanted to make absolutely sure they had at least 2 capable replacements (a starter & backup).

  23. fireeyes111 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:00 PM

    Bills could use a cheap vet to support the kiddos at ILB. Wouldn’t be a bad choice.

  24. ranger764 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:00 PM

    Agree with 4thquartermagic. Not a surprise at all. They’ve been talking about this for awhile here in Denver. They expect Nate Irving to take his place. Mays was a good motor guy, but could not cover. Good luck to him wherever he lands.

  25. sbchampsagain says: Jul 23, 2013 1:02 PM

    Man, the Bronco’s have been a mess since Peyton came to town. I blame Elway.

  26. 11roi says: Jul 23, 2013 1:05 PM

    The writter know nothing about joe mays, this player was indeed a starter last year but he was replaced even before his injury, he was terrible in coverage and even in the run game he was not good in pursuit.
    It was known that this guy was gonna be cut before season starts, that´s why the broncos got stewart bradley and all offseason they´ve been saying nate irving is the favorite to start at mlb. I think the timing of the cut is related to the calendar and his contract, but it was so clear that they were not gonna pay him 4 millions to sit on the bench.

  27. denverwally says: Jul 23, 2013 1:06 PM

    Very odd timing though, he took all the first team reps during OTA’s and mini camps. And now they decide to dump him?
    Something doesn’t smell right, but I’m sure the crack Denver beat writers will get to the bottom of it.
    (That was sarcasm, they are the biggest bunch of bootlickers in the league. John Elway is GOD to them)

  28. broncobeta says: Jul 23, 2013 1:09 PM

    rushmatic says:
    Jul 23, 2013 12:45 PM
    Wow, who is left up front on this team from last year’s defense?
    ———————————-

    Umm… only like EVERYONE.

  29. bennyb82 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:09 PM

    Unlike Tyson, he doesn’t need his teeth to take off part of an ear.

  30. broncotis3000 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:10 PM

    @ravensterps..Keep on believing that media hype..see u on Sept 5th…..

  31. denverdougz says: Jul 23, 2013 1:11 PM

    This is not a surprise at all. He was terrible last year

  32. kane337 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:12 PM

    The Broncos should cut Von Miller too

  33. therealtrenches says: Jul 23, 2013 1:14 PM

    All these Eagles fans saying they’d take him back, or that he was a “beast” with the Eagles are flat out wrong.

  34. sbchampsagain says: Jul 23, 2013 1:16 PM

    Everyone’s back for the Bronco’s defense except Elvis Dumerville, Von Miller and Joe Mays.

    And Rahim Moore is back too. Waaay back…

    Right Raheem?!

    Oops.

  35. youarejealousof6rings says: Jul 23, 2013 1:18 PM

    He must have been too clean to stay on the roster.

  36. bigbenh8tr says: Jul 23, 2013 1:20 PM

    Welcome to Dallas

  37. 7pints says: Jul 23, 2013 1:21 PM

    This a mere formality. He was going to be cut by the end of camp anyhow. They are giving him the courtesy and opportunity of catching on with another team early in camp.

  38. realfootballfan says: Jul 23, 2013 1:22 PM

    The Broncos offseason isn’t going so well. Who’s playing middle linebacker for them then? That’s a pretty important position.

  39. jamaltimore says: Jul 23, 2013 1:23 PM

    That’s what happens when your the bartender for Player personnel happy hours and you overserve the staff!

  40. JP says: Jul 23, 2013 1:25 PM

    Surprise move? Everyone knew this was coming after he got demoted midseason. It might be the least surprising move of the offseason.

  41. chrisk61 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:27 PM

    come on eagles fans,

    this is new era. mays won’t fit with kelly’s vision. kelly wants big, particularly on defense. mays’ weight is ok, at 245. but he is only 5′ 11″. classic andy reid guy, not big but allegedly has a “big motor.” too small for kelly’s defense. end of story.

  42. mataug says: Jul 23, 2013 1:28 PM

    oh god, not Bradley please

  43. texansfan13 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:39 PM

    Texans could sure use help at ILB, he should come cheap coming off injury.

  44. cscobra14 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:40 PM

    Timing is not a surprise nor is his release…anyone who follows the team knows this. At best he was a backup on this year’s squad but certainly not at 4 mil a season. Was already running behind two other players at his position and never has played well since he has been in Denver.

  45. blue18hutthutt says: Jul 23, 2013 1:42 PM

    The only people to whom this is a surprise to, and thumbs downing all the comments, are the ones that obviously didn’t watch him play last year (other than the Sportscenter highlights of his hit on Schaub)

    Dude was replaced last year by octogenarian Keith Brooking (who did a better job even at his advanced age) and was by no means the presumed starter this year entering camp

    He was an obvious cap casualty – his $4 million did not justify his ability and the Broncos, with the additional cap savings from the Ryan Clady deal probably want to try to lock up Wesley Woodyard for the next couple of years

    Go ahead and thumbs down believing this is a “surprise” or that Mays is a good player

  46. cobrala2 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:46 PM

    As an out of town Eagles fan I don’t see the # of games I’m sure others in here have seen but I never thought much of him. Sure, perhaps he was misused in Philadelphia but all I ever saw about him was pure hype from Philly Media.

    I promise the Eagles look much different from outside the Tri-State area. :|

  47. myshkingfh says: Jul 23, 2013 1:48 PM

    No one no one NO ONE expected him to start at MLB this year. Not a person. The only question anyone who followed the Broncos had was why he was still on the roster up until this point. Denver has been telling anyone who asked that Nate Irving was going to play Mike.

  48. randyschwimmer7 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:49 PM

    Just in case no one knows, Joe Mays is NOT A GOOD LINEBACKER. He is slow, cannot cover the pass, and is known for one thing, run support. While that is good, you have to be able to cover a running back out of the back field as a true 43 MIKE.

  49. broncosnative says: Jul 23, 2013 2:04 PM

    Keep believing that the broncos is a mess because come week one, they’re gonna squash all that non sense. This is nothing but media hype to see if they could distract the contenders. Same happening with the pats but both these teams will shut everybody up

  50. Nickstixx says: Jul 23, 2013 2:17 PM

    This is not a surprise cut, if you know the team, you knew this was coming. Broncos are turning to Nate Irving, Steven Johnson, and Stuart Bradley for the MLB position. The defense will spend most of its time in Nickel anyways, so MLB only see’s the field maybe 25% of the time.

  51. sbchampsagain says: Jul 23, 2013 2:20 PM

    If I were to bet, I’d guess the Broncos will again be regular season champs with Peyton at the helm.

    Unfortunately that also comes with a post season choke-job.

  52. aceben3 says: Jul 23, 2013 2:39 PM

    Ozzie, make the call!

  53. respectgsh says: Jul 23, 2013 2:50 PM

    All this talk about a mess is overblown. The only real problem for this team is Miller’s suspension. That IMO will not be enough to derail a very good team with a weak schedule in a horrible division from a first round bye. As far as Mays is concerned I just pray Urlacher doesn’t sully his career by playing past his prime in fake blue.

  54. tindeaux says: Jul 23, 2013 2:56 PM

    the chargers have been soft the recent years. could use this guy!

  55. bronco58lb says: Jul 23, 2013 3:31 PM

    Joe Mays’ extension might have John Elway’s biggest head scratcher of personnel move since joining the organization in 2011. It’s enough of a folly to still be on the fence about how Elway will fare in piecing together a roster in the post-Peyton Manning era.

  56. rushmatic says: Jul 23, 2013 3:44 PM

    rushmatic says:
    Wow, who is left up front on this team from last year’s defense?
    ———————————-

    broncobeta says:
    Umm… only like EVERYONE.

    _______________

    I guess. If you ignore Williams, Mays, Dumervil and Miller (yes, I know, he’s still technically on the team). Also, my comment was tongue in cheek, as if that was difficult for most people to see. Relax.

  57. atwaterslaughter says: Jul 23, 2013 3:56 PM

    Maybe despite being a great locker room guy (albeit with a limited skill set), The Broncos got word that he was the anonymous player that texted Ed Werder from ESPN his feelings about Von. That message reads like the “player” definitely deems Miller guilty. May never know, although it seems anytime Elway farts in the wind as of late, the media is there to sniff it out.

  58. oilman989 says: Jul 23, 2013 8:04 PM

    MDS, I love ya brother, but this was hardly a “surprise move.” Weeks of speculation finally morphed into reality.

    This guy racked up 66 tackles in 12 starts two years ago. Gotta think Mays is somewhere on the Ravens, Vikings, Cards, & Chargers wish list.

  59. 10nibaupre says: Jul 23, 2013 9:37 PM

    It’s incredible how misinformed some people are on the internet, even reporters. Joe Mays had almost no chance of starting. For those who don’t know, he did not start at the end of last year because he was considered a less talented MLB on our roster than Keith Brooking. Also, we brought in a MLB via FA to compete with other LBs on the roster. Joe Mays was way down the line. Projected 3rd or 4th string going into camp.

    As for responses to others on this site who clearly do not follow the Broncos at all. The only potential starter we are missing on defense at all- not even upfront- is Elvis. Which I’m not gonna lie, hurts. But that’s it. Otherwise we brought in others to help.

    Another thing to note is this. It’s not even just a Denver Bronco thing. Teams are moving to pass packages and formations more and more. Teams in the NFL often only have two LBs on the field. So paying 4 million dollars to a poor LB that wouldn’t even be on the field that much if he started would be crazy. Even if you guys still think Mays has it in him, he would not be on the field over Miller and Woodyard.

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