Broncos Sign DeMarcus Ware
Denver continued to bulk up on the defensive side of the ball signing DeMarcus Ware to a three-year, $30 million contract with a gaudy $20 million in guaranteed money. This move comes just one day after the Broncos inked S T.J. Ward.
Dallas bumbling their way through contracts in the Jerry Jones era led to Ware’s release on Tuesday. While Jones believed Ware would return, the demand for his services was strong on the open market.
With Peyton Manning nearing the end of his career, it’s quite obvious John Elway and the Broncos are shoving all their chips in the middle for next season. Ware turns 32 this offseason and doesn’t have a particularly long shelf life. But he’s still a difference-maker and an obvious upgrade over Shaun Phillips. Opposite Von Miller, Ware gives the Broncos an Ali-like one-two punch in their pass rush.
It wasn’t a banner year for Ware in 2013. The veteran was asked to put his hand in the dirt and play defensive end in the Cowboys’ new-look 4-3 defense. He also dealt with nagging injuries all season.
Ware’s six sacks last season don’t stand out, but he was still able to generate a QB pressure on 13.4 percent of his pass rush snaps. That’s better than the likes of Chris Long (13.1), Terrell Suggs (12.7), Carlos Dunlap (12.1), Lamarr Houston (11.5), and Michael Johnson (11.0).
The question for fantasy owners is whether or not Ware will be designated as a defensive lineman. Early indications suggest he will be, meaning Ware remains squarely in the DL1 tier. With Miller commanding attention, Ware should have ample opportunity to disrupt the quarterback. If he stays healthy, expect Ware to be among the league leaders in sacks.
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Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy.