ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --When Joe Mays walked off the field following Denver's 45-10 defeat to the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, he did so knowing what a lot of players around the league thought following their last game of the season -- that might be the last time he dons his current team's uniform.
Mays is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. For Mays, he would love to build on his established career with the Broncos.
"I would love to," Mays said. "I love it here. These last two seasons have been my best two years in the league. Hopefully the coaching staff feels I'm valuable enough to bring me back. I'm just looking forward to see what's going to happen and hopefully they do bring me back."
Mays had by far his most productive year this season. He set career marks in games played (16), starts (12) and tackles (75). He was an integral part of the Broncos defense and often delivered punishing hits to running backs who entered his lane.
In his two seasons with the Broncos, he has seen a dramatic culture change. After going 4-12 last year, Mays was happy to finish with a division title and playoff victory this season.
"I think the moment Coach Fox stepped foot at the facility, that losing aspect just left the building," Mays said. "He just said, 'We're going to be a good football team this year. We're going to turn some heads, right some wrongs, and we're going to go out there and show that we can play football with the best of them.'"
Mays believes that part of the reason for the Broncos success this season was due to the friendly environment in the locker room. Everybody stayed together and gelled not only with other teammates in their position groups, but players throughout the team.
"(We became) a close knit team," Mays said. "In other cases, the team aspect might have broken up a little bit but that's one thing that I love about this team, we never took no for an answer…That's how I think we won a lot of games, just us coming out here playing for each other."