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Broncos release leading rusher Willis McGahee, opening door for Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman

The Denver Broncos have released Willis McGahee, their leading rusher last year.

The 31-year-old running back is the NFL's active leader with 33 100-yard games. McGahee is coming off a right knee injury that sidelined him for the final two months last season. The 11-year veteran was set to make $2.5 million in 2013.

McGahee skipped all of the team's 10 voluntary workouts but returned to Dove Valley for their three-day mandatory minicamp that ends Thursday.

With second-year pro Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball getting most of the work out of the backfield this week, McGahee was relegated to a handful of snaps.

McGahee said Tuesday he was confident he'd keep his starting job and didn't regret skipping the workouts. He says he "probably would have been behind the 8-ball either way."