Well, you can scratch one name off the list of combatants for the starting gig at running back for the Denver Broncos. Three backs is company, four’s a crowd. Right?
Less than a week after Willis McGahee proudly proclaimed that he ‘expects to start’, he’s been released by the Denver Broncos. The move comes just one day after he returned to the club, following missed OTA’s due to family related reasons. By releasing McGahee the Broncos will save $2.5M this season, and $2M the next.
The fact of the matter is that there was just no room for the aging running back, who is now 32 years old and coming off of a season he finished on the IR with an MCL tear and broken leg. The Broncos backfield had seven members, now six, and had just spent a second-round pick on Wisconsin product Montee Ball. The writing was on the wall for McGahee.
Speaking about the uncertainty of his future with the club, McGahee said that he was “always on the bubble” and added that there really wasn’t much he could do. This after just his first, and apparently, final practice with the Broncos this offseason.
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McGahee was the club’s starting running back during his two year stay and amassed an impressive 1,930 yards and eight touchdowns in 25 games. During his first year with the club the Broncos ranked first in league rushing. Much of this is credited to Tim Tebow’s “miraculous” run with the club, but I’m of the opinion that his 1,199 yards might have had something to do with it. Just maybe.
The release of McGahee will add his name to an already stacked group of veteran running backs that have yet to either find or stick with a team in this offseason. Long gone are the days of emphasized ground games, and oh how it shows in this year’s running back free agents. Of which, McGahee is now the best.
You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV