It can take several years for NFL teams to even get close to becoming legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Even once a team reaches the top level of contention, however, it can take the right final additions to go from competitive to world champion.
For teams teetering on the edge and looking at narrow Super Bowl windows, they often find those final pieces in the form of aging veteran free agents. Talented NFL veterans entering the later stages of their careers are likewise interested in finding a team that can deliver a ring—before Father Time closes their own respective windows.
For these players, money is often a far less significant concern than a potential championship.
You can find one recent example of team and veteran player merging perfectly on the roster of the NFL's most recent champions. Back in 2014, the Denver Broncos signed pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware in order to bolster their pass rush. The three year, $30 million deal was a relatively team-friendly one when you consider the general demand for top-tier sack artists.
A few weeks ago, Ware and the Broncos hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Could a veteran like running back Matt Forte be doing the same with the New England Patriots in a season or two? What about a guy like wide receiver Anquan Boldin and the Cincinnati Bengals?
We're looking at still-productive players who are at least 30 years old and who may be willing to take a team-friendly short-term deal to land with a contender.
These are the guys who should land with teams looking to complete championship rosters.