Once the new CBA was agreed upon, the Ravens wasted no time in making the first headlines after they informed WR Derrick Mason, TE Todd Heap, NT Kelly Gregg and RB Willis McGahee that they will officially be released on Thursday when teams can start cutting and waiving players.
It's being reported that the team would like to re-sign Mason and Heap to lower salaries, but what is to become of McGahee? I knew there was no way the Ravens were going to keep him and his $6 million salary. Unfortunately for McGahee, however, it doesn't sound like he is going to get the same treatment as Mason and Heap.
Enter the Broncos.
The Broncos had been linked to free agent RB DeAngelo Williams virtually all throughout the lockout and it sounded like a reunion between he and HC John Fox was almost a given. But then the news came out that the Panthers are going to try their best to re-sign him. Williams has even come out and told the media that he would give Carolina first dibs on his services.
There was a report last week that made it seem the Broncos were counting on Knowshon Moreno to be their featured back after much speculation that they were grooming him to be the third-down back. He even dropped weight in order to be a better pass catcher on passing downs. It would be hard to think that the Broncos' coaching staff has enough faith in Moreno to be the back in the offense. Like I wrote in my Just Say No To Moreno article, he simply doesn't fit Fox's offensive style.
So how does McGahee fit into all this? The Denver Post predicts the Broncos will be showing interest in McGahee upon his release. Broncos current RBs coach Eric Studesville was McGahee's position coach for three years in Buffalo when both were in Buffalo, so that could be a factor. And the team had already stated that they want a 1B-type back to pair with Moreno.
I think it will go down like this: The Broncos will wait and see where talks between the Panthers and Williams are going and see if they can make a better offer. If they land him, Moreno moves to backup. If they miss out on Williams, then they go to Plan B and take a look at McGahee, or someone else, which will push Moreno back to starter and give him back some of the fantasy value he lost just months before. I honestly can't see McGahee beating Moreno outright for the starting job, but stranger things have happened.
But all owners should keep my article in the back of their minds. Even if Moreno comes through unscathed and starts Week One, I still don't have high hopes for him to finally crack 1000 yards in 2011. And as for McGahee, it's hard for me to believe that he is going to be able to crack my top 40 running back rankings just because he's on a different team and out of Ray Rice's shadow. He's clearly not the player he used to be.