Denver Broncos release running back Willis McGahee

DENVER - The Denver Broncos have released running back Willis McGahee.

"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. "I appreciate all of the competitiveness, toughness and leadership Willis brought to the Broncos. He was an integral part of our turnaround during the past two seasons, and I wish him the best as he continues his NFL career."

The Broncos signed McGahee in 2011 to a three-year deal worth $7.5 million, including $3 million guaranteed, according to multiple sources.

McGahee was drafted from the University of Miami by the Buffalo Bills in 2003 with the 23rd pick. McGahee played for the Buffalo Bills for four seasons (2003-2006) and then for the Baltimore Ravens (2007-2010). 

McGahee's season ended early last year when he tore his MCL and suffered a compressed fracture in his right leg during the second quarter of Denver's 30-23 win over the Chargers in November.

The tenth-year running back had rushed for 731 yards with four touchdowns before the season-ending injury.

McGahee became expendable as the Broncos drafted running back Monte Ball in the second-round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

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