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.