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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.

Jared Allen could end up with Broncos?

jared-allenJared Allen has reached the point in his career where winning a championship is at or near the top of his priority list. The 31-year-old defensive end has been to five Pro Bowls and recorded 128.5 sacks in his career. He’s likely a future Hall of Famer who will go down as one of the top-five pass rushers of all time. All that’s missing for Allen is a ring.

Hunger to win a championship is the main reason it makes sense that a team like the Denver Broncos is a strong possibility to sign Allen this offseason.

During an interview on Sirius XM Radio last week, Allen made it clear that he is looking to play for a team that has “stability” at quarterback.

“If you can play for one of the top five quarterbacks, that makes life easier, especially for rushing the passer,” he said, via the Pioneer Press. “You get tons of opportunities when you’re leading games by 14 or more.”

With Peyton Manning having passed his neck exam and been cleared to keep playing, the Broncos certainly have a top-five quarterback. They are also in need of pass rushers with Von Miller recovering from a torn ACL. Allen will still want to be paid what he deserves after averaging more than 14 sacks per season over the last seven years, but don’t be surprised if he takes slightly less to play for a championship contender like Denver.

Peyton Manning: John Elway ripped Broncos after preseason loss to Seahawks

John ElwayThe Denver Broncos got demolished the last time they faced the Seattle Seahawks. Fortunately, the 40-10 loss came in preseason play. The team that lost to Seattle in August is far different from the one that will take the field in the Super Bowl on Sunday. The preseason game may have been meaningless, but Peyton Manning says John Elway took it very seriously.

“John pretty much laid it on us after that game — that was a butt kicking,” Manning told reporters this week, via Pro Football Talk. “He talked about what he thought our potential could be and didn’t want to see that wasted. I think guys got the message.”

Manning was in midseason form during the loss, completing 11 of 16 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown. But the Broncos were pretty awful on defense and special teams. They allowed a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and watched a fumble get taken 106 yards the other way for a score.

“He might have been giving a message to coaches as well as the players and everybody in the room got the message,” Manning added. “It was the first time he had addressed the team and when he had something to say it was important.”

Elway probably has not been angry with his team many times since. What he can provide this week is Super Bowl insight from someone who appeared in five Super Bowls and lost three of them. The Broncos would be wise to listen as carefully as they did more than five months ago.

Broncos only selling playoff tickets to people in Rocky Mountain area

Peyton Manning BroncosRemember how we told you that the Seattle Seahawks are limiting their NFC Championship ticket sales to certain regions of the country to protect their home field advantage? Apparently that is a thing now, as the Denver Broncos are doing the same.

According to CBS Denver, Broncos tickets — which go on sale Monday — will only be available to buyers with a valid billing address in the Rocky Mountain region. That means if you don’t live in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota or Western Kansas, you might as well hop on StubHub.com and start shopping now.

Ticket prices for the AFC Championship Game at Sports Authority Field start at $90 through the Broncos’ ticket office. The cheapest ticket on StubHub.com is currently listed for $387.

Denver’s decision to only sell tickets to certain areas will likely have an even greater effect than the Seahawks doing the same. San Francisco is much closer to Seattle than the New England area is to Denver. Pricey tickets on the secondary market and cross-country travel will likely discourage most Patriots fans from making the trip.

H/T Eye on Football

Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars exchange barbs on Twitter

Peyton-Manning-BroncosThe Denver Broncos are starting to remind people of the 2007 New England Patriots. After hanging 51 points on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Peyton Manning and company are now averaging an incredible 46 points per game. The Patriots were “only” averaging 36 points per game after five games in ’07.

Things get much easier for the Broncos in Week 6. Their next opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, is still seeking its first win of the season. On Monday morning, the Broncos’ official Twitter account took a moment to remind followers of how different things have gone for the two teams this season.

The person in charge of the Jags’ Twitter account did not appreciate the stat:

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Tony Romo tries to work refs before game against Denver Broncos

Tony-Romo-Troy-AikmanThe Dallas Cowboys will have their hands full at home on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning and company have looked unstoppable through the first four games of the season, averaging an NFL-best 363.8 passing yards and 44.8 points per game. They do, however, rank 30th in the league in opponent passing yards with 316.3. Despite that, Tony Romo believes the officials have allowed Denver’s defenders to get away with too much.

When speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Romo did his best to try to prime the referees in advance of the big game.

“They grab, they hold, they’ve almost put a lot of pressure on the refs – whether or not they’re going to call the game close or not,” he said, according to USA Today Sports. “If they get called once or twice, that’s a good thing. But they’re all over guys as far as using the little tricks, I guess you could say, that good linebackers and good secondaries use when they’re playing man coverage.”

Denver’s secondary has been flagged for 10 penalties — seven of which came in a win over the New York Giants. Romo apparently believes they should have been penalized more, as he noted that the Broncos have not been “exposed with a lot of penalties.”

Simply put, Romo knows his team is going to have to score early and often. With the way the Broncos offense has been clicking, no defense in the league can stop them. They’re a seven-point favorite on the road for a reason. Any advantage Romo thinks he can given the Cowboys leading up to the game is probably worth his while.

H/T Shutdown Corner

Denver Broncos fans: Super Bowls are not won in September

Peyton Manning BroncosThe Denver Broncos are 4-0 and have scored more points than any team in the NFL by far. They look great. Peyton Manning has set a record for most touchdown passes thrown in the first four games of a season with 16. There is talk about this team being better and more impressive than the 2007 New England Patriots, who went 18-0 before losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. But for all the praise about Manning and the Broncos, allow me to remind you that Super Bowls are not won in September.

Peyton Manning has a history of doing this sort of thing. How many times did he start off the season undefeated and hot only to make an early exit in the playoffs? Let’s see.

    - 1999 Colts won 11 straight games from Week 6-16, lost in divisional round to Ten
    - 2004 Colts won 8 straight games from Week 9-16, lost in divisional round to Pats
    - 2005 Colts started 13-0, lost in divisional round to Steelers
    - 2007 Colts started 7-0, lost in divisional round to Chargers
    - 2008 Colts won 9 in a row from Week 9-17, lost in wild card round to Chargers
    - 2009 Colts started 14-0, lost Super Bowl to Saints
    - 2012 Broncos won 11 in a row from Week 6-17, lost in divisional round to Ravens

The one exception was Manning’s 2006 Colts, who started 9-0 and won the Super Bowl over the Chicago Bears.

You could argue that this is Manning’s best team and offense yet, but don’t forget about some of his other amazing squads. Are you really going to tell me that this team of Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker is better than Manning’s 2004 Colts, who had Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark? I’m not willing to say that. Manning threw for a then-record 49 touchdown passes that season. In Week 10-13, they went through a similar stretch to this Broncos team. They won 49-14, 41-10, 41-9 and 51-24 in those games. And then they lost to the Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs.

This Broncos team may go 16-0 for all I know. Manning may break Tom Brady’s record for touchdown passes in a season. But from what I’ve learned watching football over the years, all it takes is one strong defensive performance, or a game where Peyton throws a few picks, for his team to lose in the playoffs and make the records seem insignificant. So let the media fawn all over Peyton and talk about how he’s the greatest and how the Broncos are the best ever, but just remember that the ultimate prize is winning the Super Bowl, not going 4-0 and setting records in September. When the Broncos win the Super Bowl, I’ll join the chorus in praise. Until then, I’ll wait this one out.