Broncos, Mays agree to three-year deal

ARNIE STAPLETON AP Pro Football Writer Published:

DENVER (AP) -- Linebacker Joe Mays was excited to get a three-year, $12 million deal to stay in Denver. After hearing Peyton Manning had chosen the Broncos over other suitors Monday, he was even more thrilled.

Mays canceled a trip to visit with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. He flew back to Denver and said he was overjoyed when he heard Manning, the four-time MVP, had chosen Denver as his next destination.

"Aw man, it's going to be exciting just what he brings to a team, he brings his leadership, just the way he approaches the game," Mays said. "He has the 'it' factor when it comes to winning games. He had it over his time with the Colts and now he's got a chance to do it here. We're all excited to have him on the team."

Mays said Manning could open the free agent floodgates in Denver, too.

"There's a chance. I'm not really sure what's going to happen, but there's definitely a chance that we're going to bring some guys here who worked in Indianapolis with him. I'm looking forward to what the Broncos are going to do as far as free agency. I can't wait to see the finished product and get a chance to go out there and hit the field."

Mays has started 17 games since arriving in Denver from Philadelphia in 2010. He had 75 tackles and 12 starts last season, playing mostly on early downs.

He had visited with the New Orleans Saints and was on his way to talk with the Colts on Sunday, when the Broncos agreed to the three-year contract.

"I was on the plane and heading to Washington to go to Indianapolis and my agent gave me a call right before I turned my phone off and told me that he'd reached a deal with the Broncos," Mays said. "I knew I had to get off that plane as soon as possible so I could sign this contract."

He said he'll sign the contract, which includes $4 million in guarantees the first year, later Monday.