ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Willis McGahee's decision to skip offseason workouts likely isn't what cost the veteran running back his job with the Broncos.
His absence, however, did allow the organization to see promise in rookie Montee Ball and progress from second-year speedster Ronnie Hillman.
On Thursday the Broncos released McGahee, 31, a former Miami Hurricane who led Denver in rushing last season despite missing the final two months with a right knee injury.
"In fairness to him, I think (for) the things he's done for us, this gives him a better opportunity to hook on somewhere," coach John Fox said. "It gives us a better opportunity to give some of these young guys more reps. It's just a conscious decision for us to get younger."
New Bag rule for fans: The league is tightening stadium security starting this preseason, limiting the size and type of bags. Banned items will include purses larger than a clutch bag; coolers; briefcases; backpacks; fanny packs; cinch bags; seat cushions; luggage; computer bags; and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size. Only clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches will be allowed.
Eagles: Rookie quarterback Matt Barkley agreed on a four-year contract.
Jets: Coach Rex Ryan said former FSU cornerback Antonio Cromartie is ready to be the defensive backfield leader with Darrelle Revis now a Buc. "He'll stand with anyone in the league with his talents," Ryan said. "We're very fortunate to have a true No. 1 cornerback." In other news, rookie QB Geno Smith clarified his "no comment" responses from Wednesday — that seemed to suggest tension in the competition for the starting job — when asked if he would join Mark Sanchez's "Jets West" workouts next month. "It kind of caught me off guard. So, I was like, 'What is Jets West?' " Smith said. "Basically, I didn't comment because I was always taught that if you don't know exactly what you're answering about not to comment on it."