Denver Broncos release LB Joe Mays

Byron Hetzler-US PRESSWIRE

The Broncos cut ties with linebacker Joe Mays shortly before training camp begins. They tried to trade him before the draft.

The Denver Broncos have released linebacker Joe Mays, the team announced on its Twitter page. Denver reportedly tried to trade him before the NFL Draft.

More Broncos coverage at Mile High Report

Mays spent the past three seasons with the Broncos. He played in all 16 games in 2011, but lost his starting job to Keith Brooking last season before breaking his ankle in Week 8. He has been unable to participate in spring workouts and was due $4 million in 2013. He signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Broncos in the spring of 2012.

The Broncos attempted to trade Mays before the draft, but couldn't find any takers. They will move forward with Nate Irving and Stewart Bradley at middle linebacker. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said that Irving should get the "first crack" at the starting position after serving as a special teams guy in 2012. Bradley is expected to be his main camp competition now that Mays is out of the picture.

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