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DeMarcus Ware signs with Broncos

DeMarcus WareThe Denver Broncos continued their offseason spending spree on Wednesday by signing former Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware to a three-year, $30 million contract. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deal includes $20 million in guaranteed money.

Ware was released by the Cowboys on Tuesday to clear cap space. The 31-year-old is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in sacks and was one of the best pass rushers in the NFL before injuries forced him to miss three games last year and play sparingly in several others. Prior to 2013, Ware appeared in all 16 games in each of the first eight seasons of his career, averaging more than 13 sacks per season.

The Broncos made arguably the biggest move of the offseason on Tuesday when they signed Aqib Talib to a six-year, $57 million deal that includes $26 million guaranteed. They also signed safety TJ Ward to a four-year deal worth $23 million with $14 million guaranteed. Between Talib, Ware and Ward, Denver has now committed $60 million in guaranteed money to revamping their defense. That is an astronomical amount for three defensive players.

Denver’s offense was one of the best in league history last year, and they have obviously decided to commit to bolstering their defense for what could be one final run with Peyton Manning. It seems like money is no object this year for John Elway and company.

Eagles likely among teams interested in DeMarcus Ware

DeMarcus WareJerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys may have finally made a fiscally prudent move rather than overspending like usual, and their discipline may be rewarded with some punishment.

The Boys released DeMarcus Ware on Tuesday, though they left matters on terms where they could still bring back the pass rushing maven. The problem is they might not have a chance for that.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, six playoff teams have already called about Ware.

And ready for this, Cowboys fans? The Philadelphia Eagles could very well be one of those teams.

Louis Riddick, who is a former Eagles scout and now with ESPN, tweeted that he would bet the Eagles are “working hard to get DeMarcus Ware. Very hard.”

Ware will be 32 in July and missed three games last season with injury, but we still think he will be a good pass rusher for any team that adds him. He was probably too expensive for the Cowboys, but how could you know want him on your defense this season? The guy is still a force. Imagine if he ends up in Philly … that’s going to be bad news for Dallas.

DeMarcus Ware released by Cowboys

DeMarcus WareDeMarcus Ware is being released by the Dallas Cowboys and will be available on the free agent market.

This development is not at all surprising given that Jerry Jones indicated Ware could be a salary cap casualty. The team was interested in bringing him back, but not at the price he would have been owed.

The Cowboys get to save $7.4 million against the cap but lose a 7-time Pro Bowler who has 117 career sacks. At 32, Ware isn’t a guy who will be a huge playmaker for the next five years, but he should be good to go for another few seasons and will be a nice addition for a contender.

Cowboys want DeMarcus Ware to take pay cut

DeMarcus WareDallas Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones made it known in an interview last week that DeMarcus Ware could be cut by the team because of the salary cap. Now we’re learning that the team wants Ware back, but at a reduced price.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys reached out to Ware Tuesday to let him know they “definitely” want to keep him, just not at the $13 million figure he’s set to earn.

Ware signed a seven-year, $79 million contract extension with the team in 2009 that included $40 million guaranteed. He’s made plenty of money during his career, but he might not want to take too much of a pay cut because of pride and ego reasons.

We’re guessing he’ll test the market, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up back with Dallas.

Jerry Jones hints DeMarcus Ware could be cut

DeMarcus WareDeMarcus Ware has been one of the top defensive players in football since entering the league in 2005, but he might end up as a free agent this offseason because of salary cap concerns.

Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones said on Monday that the team needs to determine whether Ware, who is 31 missed three games last season, will be worth the large salary he commands.

Dallas is nearly $20 million over the projected salary cap and Ware takes up $16 million of the cap. If the Cowboys were to cut the 4-time All-Pro passrusher, that would create around $7 million of space. That’s why the Cowboys are considering the possibility.

“We will address it,” Jones said of Ware’s contract status via ESPN. “We made a change in what he’s doing. We put his hand down [play defensive end], rather than stand him up [play outside linebacker]. That was a change and at the same time, he’s had a tough time getting on the practice field because of various injuries, all of that we have to weigh with how much of that has impacted that for the future as well as where he is with his career and his age. Those are the ingredients in the stew and we have to stir it up and see where we’re going. It will be a very difficult call for us because of how much salary cap he uses.”

The Cowboys could ask Ware to take a pay cut, or they could attempt to restructure his deal as alternatives to releasing him. Ware seemed to indicate at the end of last season that he might be willing to take a pay cut to help the team.

Ware is such a great player that I would want to bring him back for another season if I were them, even if it were at a high price. With an offseason to recover, he should come into 2014 more healthy. After that point I would be more serious about cutting him, but I think he still is good for another season.

DeMarcus Ware hints he would take pay cut to stay with Cowboys

DeMarcus-Ware-Bill-Parcells-MotivationDallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware capped off a disappointing season on Sunday night with no sacks and just four tackles in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Prior to this year, Ware had not registered less than 11 sacks in a season since he was a rookie in 2005. The 31-year-old has been one of the best pass rushers in the game, and his contract reflects that.

In 2014, Ware is scheduled to make a base salary of $12.2 million plus a $500,000 workout bonus. As it stands, his total cap hit for 2014 would be $16 million. After Dallas was eliminated from the playoffs, Ware hinted he would be open to taking a pay cut.

“At the end of the day, I’m a team player,” he said, via Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com. “I’ll do what I need to do to help the team.”

Watkins pointed out that the Cowboys are scheduled to enter the 2014 season $31 million over the salary cap, so they will likely have to get creative. It seems unlikely that the team would cut Ware, but the former first-round pick said it is a possibility he has considered.

“I think about it sometimes, but that’s sort of the last thing on my mind,” he said. “I’ve just got to get my body right for whatever opportunities await me.”

Ware should have two or three more seasons left in his football prime, so he still has value to the Cowboys. However, he battled a number of injuries in 2013 and did not look like a $12 million player. He may wind up paying for that this offseason.

DeMarcus Ware: It’s time for Tony Romo to ‘put up or shut up’

Tony Romo signed a massive contract extension worth $108 million with the Dallas Cowboys last week. Considering he has only one playoff win in seven seasons as a starting quarterback, many people (see: McNabb, Donovan) feel that Jerry Jones gave Romo way more money than he is worth.

None of that matters when the Cowboys kick off their 2013 season, and linebacker DeMarcus Ware reminded us of that during an interview with Sirius XM’s NFL Radio on Thursday.

“I feel like everybody is deserving to whatever is given to him, but at the end of the day, to me it’s put up or shut up,” Ware said when asked about Romo’s contract, via The Dallas Morning News. “I’m just being straight-up honest with you. Get out there and be productive, and that’s with any player. Whatever they get, they’re deserving of it. You just got to get out there and play and I know he can be and will be the quarterback that is going to be the quarterback that is going to take us to the next level.”

Statistically, Romo is one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. He makes mistakes at critical times, but his QB rating has never been lower than 90.5 in a single season. Quarterbacks are at such a premium that you have to spend $55 million in guaranteed money to keep one of them — even if that person has been a failure in the clutch.

Ware has defended Romo as a leader in the past, but you could argue that the Cowboys quarterback is going to be under more pressure than ever going forward. If he continues to make poor decisions like this with the game on the line, Romo’s contract will start to look pretty horrible to his teammates and the fans.