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Broncos show Ware-withal to improve their pass rush

Updated: 2014-03-14 09:01
By Associated press ( China Daily)

Well, that didn't take long.

Pass rusher DeMarcus Ware got a $30 million, three-year contract from the Denver Broncos on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after being released by the Dallas Cowboys.

Not quite keeping pace with the nonstop nature of Day 1 of NFL free agency, Day 2 included the Tampa Bay Buccaneers releasing cornerback Darrelle Revis after failing to trade him - and he promptly signed a one-year deal worth $12 million with the new England Patriots.

Elsewhere, wide receiver Eric Decker bolted Denver to sign with the New York Jets; receiver Golden Tate left the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks to play alongside All-Pro Calvin Johnson with the Detroit Lions; and the Cleveland Browns cut quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell.

The Revis move saved the Bucs a $1.5 million bonus that would have been due if he remained on the roster with his $16 million salary. It also freed up room under the cap for a continuing roster overhaul under new coach Lovie Smith and GM Jason Licht.

With Broncos executive John Elway showing the same ability to close a deal that he did during his Hall of Fame career as a quarterback - and used two years ago to lure Peyton Manning to Denver - Ware's first team visit resulted in a deal that includes $20 million in guaranteed money.

"It is a perfect fit for me," Ware said at a news conference.

He will pair with linebacker Von Miller to give AFC champion Denver a pair of quarterback chasers. Elway has been busy upgrading the defense during the first two days of the NFL's free-agency period, adding cornerback Aqib Talib from the Patriots and safety T.J. Ward on Tuesday.

"Their mentality is a 'now' mentality," Ware said about the Broncos. "Not looking forward to next season or the season after that. The time is now."

The 31-year-old Ware had 117 sacks and went to seven Pro Bowls in nine seasons with the Cowboys. He had a career-low six sacks last season, when he missed time with a thigh injury, then had offseason elbow surgery.

The Cowboys made another move to clear cap space on Wednesday, jettisoning receiver Miles Austin, as expected, saving about $5.5 million. Austin's release is effective June 1. And they signed free agent defensive linemen Terrell McClain and Jeremy Mincey.

Revis, meanwhile, spent only one season with the Bucs, who got him from the Jets for a 2013 first-round draft pick and a 2014 fourth-round choice.

The Bucs already signed a top-flight cornerback, former Titans player Alterraun Verner, on Tuesday, when they also brought aboard defensive end Michael Johnson, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and tight end Brandon Myers.

Meanwhile, Decker spent all day on Wednesday at the Jets' facility and had dinner with a contingent of team officials, including coach Rex Ryan. He gives quarterback Geno Smith and the offense a sorely needed playmaker and No. 1-type wide receiver.

The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Decker, who will be 27 on Saturday, set career highs last season catching passes from Peyton Manning with 87 catches and 1,288 yards receiving to go along with 11 touchdowns. He had 85 receptions for 1,064 yards and a career-best 13 TDs in 2012.

Tampa Bay added a quarterback by agreeing to a two-year contract with Josh McCown, formerly of the Chicago Bears.

(China Daily 03/14/2014 page23)