Linebacker Joe Mays was on his way to Indianapolis to visit the
dwindling Colts. He didn’t even board the plane before his mind was back on the Denver Broncos.
That’s because while he was sitting on the plane the Broncos called and offered him a three year deal worth $12 million ($4 million guaranteed). Not bad for a 6th round draft pick out of North Dakota State.
“I was sitting on the plane, going to Indy when I got the call,” Mays said. “I had to get up, hurry up down that aisle and rush to get off the plane before they closed the doors. They were close to closing the doors.
“I just wanted to get off that plane and get up there and take that offer.” – Joe Mays to the Denver Post
Mays will enter his fourth year in NFL with 133 tackles. He’s not a big playmaker, but he’s a force on the Broncos defense (75 tackles in 2011), and most importantly, he’s a key leader in the locker room.
Mays had his doubts that the Broncos wanted him back.
“I wasn’t expecting to be here,” Mays said. “I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. They made me the offer and I wanted to be here, my family wanted to be here, and it was easy for me to say ‘yes.'”
Mays went from 40 tackles in 2010 to 75 tackles in 2011. He’s a player on the rise, and he’s studied his game to improve more.
“I missed too many tackles last year,” Mays said. “You guys have seen it, the fans have seen it. I read all about it on the internet. This season I’m going to work on my explosion.”
In addition to being excited about the new contract, Mays is excited about new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
“Everybody is excited about the Peyton Manning addition,” Mays said. “I’m more excited about Jack Del Rio. More excited because the sky’s the limit for us linebackers with him coming in. I think he’s going to make things a lot easier on us.”
Mays is a guy that I was really excited to see back. He’s a great leader and he’s improving year-to-year. You can’t put a price tag on those benefits.