The Denver Broncos have released running back Willis McGahee.
The 31-year-old veteran spent two seasons in Denver. He ran for 1,199 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games during the 2011 campaign, earning his second Pro Bowl nod, then last year rushed for 731 yards with four scores in 10 games.
"It's never easy to part ways with a veteran player who made so many positive contributions to our team and community," said Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway in a statement Thursday. "I appreciate all of the competitiveness, toughness and leadership Willis brought to the Broncos. He was an integral part of our team's turnaround during the past two seasons, and I wish him the best as he continues his NFL career."
The Broncos may have deemed McGahee expendable after the team also announced Thursday the signing of Montee Ball out of Wisconsin. Ball, a second-round selection the 2013 draft, racked up 5,140 rushing yards and 77 touchdowns -- including six receiving touchdowns -- en route to becoming the NCAA's all-time leader in total touchdowns with 83 over his four-year career in Madison.
They Broncos also have a wealth of depth in the backfield with Knowshon Moreno, C.J. Anderson, Lance Ball, Jacob Hester, Ronnie Hillman and Jeremiah Johnson on the roster.
McGahee joined Denver as a free agent in July 2011 after playing four years with Baltimore and four seasons in Buffalo. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier with both teams as well, and joined Ricky Watters as the only players in league history to reach that plateau with three different teams.
In 130 career games, McGahee has run for 8,097 yards with 63 touchdowns. He also has 202 catches for 1,319 yards and five scores. His 33 career 100-yard rushing games are tied for second-most among active players.
Denver also signed cornerback Kayvon Webster from the University of South Florida after selecting him with the 90th overall pick in April's draft.