Denver Broncos top 15 free agent signings of all-time

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos
Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

player. 45. . RB. (2011-12). Willis McGahee. 15

During the crazy 2011 offseason, the NFL went through a lockout and a really weird chain of events that put everything backwards.

The NFL Draft happened before free agency. The Broncos were under new management, as owner Pat Bowlen decided to fire head coach Josh McDaniels and hire legendary quarterback John Elway to run the team.

Elway hired John Fox to right the ship, and used his first-ever draft pick on franchise cornerstone in pass rusher Von Miller.

It wasn’t until July 29, 2011 that the Broncos reached a three-year agreement with running back Willis McGahee, who was entering his age-30 season after a decent amount of success with the Baltimore Ravens.

McGahee had a connection on the coaching staff with 2010 interim head coach Eric Studesville, who had coached him to two 1,000-yard seasons when McGahee was with the Buffalo Bills.

McGahee experienced a career revival in Denver. He helped lead the Broncos in rushing the year they led the entire NFL in that category. That just so happened to be the magical Tim Tebow year, but people forget just how good the former Miami Hurricanes star was for Denver.

In 25 games for the Broncos, he rushed for 1,930 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and had over 2,200 yards from scrimmage along with nine touchdowns.

McGahee earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2011 and was with the Broncos during their stellar 2012 season when they won 11-straight games heading into the AFC playoffs.