After just two years with the team, the Denver Broncos have released star running back Willis McGahee, as ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted this morning:
@AdamSchefter: Broncos released RB Willis McGahee
McGahee is entering his 11th season in the NFL. At the age of 32, he's already on the slippery downhill slope older running backs seem to hit in their early thirties. Add in his knee injuries, and the fact that he was slated to make $2.5 million this season, and the move makes sense for the Broncos. They drafted Montee Ball out of Wisconsin, and they still have sophomore RB Ronnie Hillman who filled in when McGahee was injured last season.
In his two seasons with Denver, McGahee played in 25 games. He had 416 rush attempts for 1,930 yards, eight touchdowns and eight fumbles. Prior to arriving in Denver, McGahee spent four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He spent three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, who drafted him in 2003 despite having torn every ligament in his left knee during the final game of his college career.
Last season, McGahee tore a ligament in his right knee during a game against the San Diego Chargers last November. The injury sidelined him for the rest of the season, but he still managed to gain 731 yards on the season. Although he says he's 100 percent, he skipped voluntary OTA's citing family reasons. He did show up for the team's mandatory mini-camp on Tuesday, but Hillman and Ball are getting most of the work. McGahee does not think that missing OTA's impacted this decision:
"I probably would have been behind the 8-ball either way," he suggested. "Younger group. Just being real, right?" (ESPN.com)
He's probably right. Now that the 32-year-old veteran is out of work, he's going to have to figure out how to show the rest of the NFL that he can still play. Despite his knee injuries, McGahee is known as one of the most dependable running backs in the NFL. Now he's got to show that he can still do it.
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