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DeMarcus Ware, Denver Broncos sign $30M contract

John Elway has hooked another big free-agent fish.

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The Denver Broncos signed pass rusher DeMarcus Ware on Wednesday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the negotiations. The deal is for three years and worth $30 million, according to Rapoport, with $20 million guaranteed. The team later made the signing official.

The Dallas Cowboyssurprisingly released Ware on Tuesday, prior to the opening of free agency. Ware immediately vaulted to the position of top edge rusher on Around The League's free-agent rankings.

The 31-year-old is coming off an injury-plagued season in which his sack total dipped to a career-low six -- after averaging 15.5 sacks per season prior. But Ware only missed three games.

Elway is betting that last season was an aberration, not an indication that the aging defender has hit the back nine of his career.

The addition of Ware followed Tuesday's signings of tough-hitting safetyT.J. Ward and lockdown-cornerback Aqib Talib. The remade defense will be intriguing. Coupling Ware with Von Miller gives the Broncos the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL.

There are concerns with each of these defenders. Ward has coverage limitations. Talib's hip has been a chronic problem. And Ware is on the wrong side of 30.

However, Elway knows his window to win with Peyton Manning won't be open forever, and he'll worry about salary cap issues down the road. Ware, set to earn $13 million from the 'Boys in 2014, will get the same amount from the Broncos instead, per Rapoport. Overall, he'll get $20 million in the first two years.

Early in free agency, we are once again reminded that Elway the recruiter is a master closer.

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