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Joe Mays looks to remove “sour taste” from his mouth

Joe Mays, Matt Schaub

In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, photo, Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays, left, knocks Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub’s helmet off on a hit during the third quarter of their NFL football game in Denver. Mays received a one-game suspension and a $50,000 fine from the NFL for the hit that dislodged Schaub’s helmet and took off a piece of his ear. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Joe Amon) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT


Abruptly cut by the Broncos and signed by the team with a quarterback he once partially de-eared, linebacker Joe Mays has extra motivation to claim a piece of Peyton Manning’s ear.

“Everything that happened in Denver, it kind of left a sour taste in my mouth,” Mays told FOX 26. “At the same time I was able to get out and get on a great team like Houston.”

Mays said he chose the Texans over the Redskins, 49ers, Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders.

The veteran defender, who likely will be getting a lot less than the $4 million he was due to earn from the Broncos this year, said that G.M. Rick Smith helped seal the deal.

“He helped a lot,” Mays said of Smith. “He just let me know I’m the type of guy that they’re looking for. That I’m a guy that can come in and compete.

“I figured it was the best opportunity for me. This was the best choice for me.”

The only potentially awkward wrinkle comes from the presence of Matt Schaub, the guy on the wrong end of the hit that made him ready for an earring sans needle.

“He said it was water under the bridge,” Mays said of Schaub. “For him to be such a great guy like that, it’s pretty cool.”

Mays is right, but what else was Schaub going to say to the guy who cut off a piece of his ear, Boy Named Sue-style?