It wasn’t exactly a shock to find out the Denver Broncos released Willis McGahee today. Second year back Ronnie Hillman and 2013 draft pick Montee Ball had been getting most of the workload in OTAs thus far. Not to mention the raving John Elway did when the team drafted Ball made it seem like McGahee’s days were all but numbered in Denver.
The real question now is, where will the 31 pushing 32-year-old back find his next job, if there is one out there for him? One place that immediately came to mind was the New York Giants.
After releasing Ahmad Bradshaw to clear up cap space, as well as give 2012 first round pick David Wilson a chance to shine, the Giants are void of a real veteran presence in the backfield.
Andre Brown showed flashes of putting it all together last year before breaking his leg and missing most of the season, and Ryan Torain has bounced around the league but isn’t anything more than a 3rd down/goal line back at best. Brown and Wilson are locks to make the team and get a bulk of the carries.
While McGahee is beyond over the hill at this point in his career, he clearly still has some left in the tank. He rushed for over 1100 yards in 2011 and was on pace for another 1000 yard season last year before a knee injury ended his season.
But forget about what he would even bring to the rotation as a running back, the real value in McGahee is his leadership and pass protection, the latter of which Wilson struggled at in 2012. Running backs coach Jerald Ingram already admitted the Giants will be using a rotation system this year and nobody will truly be the No. 1 guy.
If you’re telling me the Giants can get someone to show Wilson what it takes to be an every down back while also protecting Eli Manning in the short term, sign me up.
This is contigent, of course, on the contract McGahee is willing to sign. I’d probably offer him no more than the veteran minimum, which may not be enough to convince him to sign. It all depends on his attitude and whether he wants to make the most money or chase a title. He’d likely only being doing the latter with the Giants, who still have Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to take care of.