Injuries hampered eighth season

The Denver Broncos released guard Dan Neil on Thursday, parting ways with one of the cornerstones of their solid
offensive lines for the past eight seasons.

A third-round pick of the Broncos in 1997, Neil started 104 games over eight years with Denver. He was in the starting lineup
last season until knee and stomach injuries slowed him, forcing him to miss Denver's final three regular-season games and the playoffs.

Dan Neil Neil

The Broncos are about $2 million under next year's salary cap, and releasing Neil should save them about $1.75 million.

Neil's backup last season, Cooper Carlisle, is an unrestricted
free agent, as is last year's starting left guard, Ben Hamilton.

The Broncos likely will try to keep Hamilton, and the rest of the line is expected to stay intact. Center Tom Nalen recently
reworked his contract and tackles Matt Lepsis and George Foster are
under contract, with Lepsis expected to rework his deal to help the