The Denver Broncos have released veteran Willis McGahee after two seasons as the team's starting running back.
"It's never easy to part ways with a veteran player who made so many positive contributions to our team and community," Broncos executive vice president John Elway said in a statement.
"I appreciate all the competitiveness, toughness and leadership Willis brought to the Broncos. He was an integral part of our team's turnaround the past two seasons, and I wish him the best as he continues his NFL career," he added.
McGahee, an 11-year veteran who will turn 32 in October, was scheduled to make $2.5 million this season.
He reported to the Broncos earlier this week after skipping the team's voluntary offseason program, expecting that he would be the team's starting running back on Sept. 5.
However, the Broncos had other things in mind, opting to move forward with 2012 third-round pick Ronnie Hillman and rookie second-rounder Montee Ball as the top two running backs.
Also, former first-round pick Knownshon Moreno and veterans Lance Ball and Jacob Hester will compete for roster spots.
"I knew it was going to happen. It is what it is. They are going younger," McGahee told ESPN.com.
McGahee signed with the Broncos immediately after the NFL lockout ended in 2011, and rushed for 1,199 yards that season.
He was a significant part of the Broncos' offense last year before tearing his medial collateral ligament in his knee on Nov. 18 that ended his season. Despite, the injury, McGahee stil led the team with 731 yards rushing.
In 25 games with the Broncos, McGahee rushed for 1,930 yards with eight touchdowns in. He has 33 100-yard games, the most of any active NFL running back.
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