DeMarcus Ware, Broncos Agree on New Contract: Latest Details and Reaction

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 12, 2016

Denver Broncos DeMarcus Ware #94 celebrates against the Carolina Panthers during the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Veteran outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware will return to the Denver Broncos—but with a new contract to provide the team with cap relief.

ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold reported the Broncos restructured Ware's deal, giving him $2 million to sign, and the plan is to use him as a third-down pass-rusher. Troy Renck of the Denver Post confirmed the report. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network added Ware will have the opportunity to make his entire $10 million salary back via incentives. 

He was originally due to account for a cap hit of $11.67 million this coming season, per Spotrac.

For a player of his caliber, experience and steady production (134.5 career sacks), Ware could have commanded a greater salary elsewhere if he didn't want to redo his contract.

Broncos general manager John Elway used last year's first-round pick on linebacker Shane Ray, who should be ready to slot in as a starter when needed. 

Ware remained productive with 7.5 sacks in 11 games last season. However, the 33-year-old is in the twilight of his playing days and could have gone out on top after Super Bowl 50.

Although this had to be a tough decision for Ware, the good news is he'll spend at least one more year playing opposite Super Bowl MVP Von Miller. The team figures to get a long-term deal with Miller done at some point, which justifies altering Ware's deal.

Denver's front seven may take a step back after free agents Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan signed elsewhere. However, Ware's return bolsters a pass defense that should continue to be one of the best in the league. 

His chances at a second ring would nary be better elsewhere.