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With Signing of DeMarcus Ware, Denver Has Already Won Free Agency

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 09:  DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys sacks Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals during their game at Paul Brown Stadium on December 9, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Cowboys defeated the Bengals 20-19.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images
Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIMarch 13, 2014

Two days into the free-agent signing period and the Denver Broncos have sent a loud and clear message to the rest of the NFL.

The Broncos are gunning for another appearance in the Super Bowl, only this time with a much different result.

Denver has been very active this offseason, bringing in three players who will be an immediate upgrade over what the team had at each of their positions on defense.

The Broncos started by snagging safety T.J. Ward, a player who spent the first four years of his career as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

Ward was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft, and he has been a valuable player for a very poor team ever since. In 2013, Ward was second on the Browns with 112 tackles.

T.J. Ward Profile
Statistic
Age27 years
Games Played54
Total Tackles342
Interceptions5
Passes Defended24
Forced Fumbles5
Fumble Recoveries1
NFL Stats

Now, he'll get the chance to play for a contender.

The Broncos were in desperate need of a physical presence on defense. Clearly, they took a good look at the way Seattle manhandled them in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Ward has a reputation for making big hits. In addition to that, he should be extremely helpful in defending the run.

In recent years, the Broncos have been victimized by opposing tight ends. Last season, Rob Gronkowskione of the biggest, most physical tight ends in the leaguecrossed paths with Ward. In the video below, you'll see the result:

Ward will be an excellent addition to the Denver defense.

The Broncos stayed aggressive on Tuesday night, luring former New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib to Denver.

Many fans will remember this (video) hit by Wes Welker on Talib in the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots defense was never the same in that game.

This will be the second straight offseason in which the Broncos have secured a key player from the New England Patriots, bringing Welker over last year.

Talib is a physical defensive back who is also one of the best pure cover guys in the league. However, the addition of Talib likely means Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has played his last game in Denver.

Broncos' offer to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been pulled. He's gone. Aqib Talib much stronger.

— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 12, 2014

Though Rodgers-Cromartie played quite well for the team in 2013, Talib is even better.

Aqib Talib Profile
Statistic
Age28 years
Games Played77
Total Tackles242
Interceptions23
Passes Defended69
Forced Fumbles2
Fumble Recoveries2
NFL Stats

His signing by the Broncos was likely a surprise to many, but it also showed that John Elway and the rest of the organization is going to go all in during their short window of opportunity.

One of the other major stories on the first day of the free-agent period was the Dallas Cowboys deciding to let DeMarcus Ware go in order to save $16 million against their salary cap.

Immediately, Broncos fans had to be fantasizing about one of the league's premier pass-rushers coming to the Mile High City.

It didn't take long for the team to make it a reality. Initially reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Broncos agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with the man who has 117 career sacks.

Denver gave up 24.9 points per game last season. It appears the team is out to change that in a major way.

"You know what," DeMarcus Ware said, "I think it's an investment in brutal nasty. They're trying to make a statement" http://t.co/NyBwgwMTOO

— Denver Post Broncos (@PostBroncos) March 13, 2014

In the span of two days, the Broncos have found a physical, hard-hitting safety to go along with a physical, shutdown cornerback and a very talented pass-rush specialist who can also help against the run.

Though the Broncos have spent a pretty penny to obtain these players, they have done so in search of the ultimate goal.

Kudos to Elway and the rest of the organization for making these moves. Just two days into the signing period, Denver has already won free agency.

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