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Ware joins D-minded Denver

The SportsXchange

It took DeMarcus Ware less than 24 hours to find a new home. The former Dallas Cowboys defensive end agreed to a three-year, $30 million with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday.

. "I feel like what they're bringing to the table, what they're doing with this organization, it's a perfect fit for me," Ware said Wednesday. "Playing with a guy like Von Miller -- they like to rush the passer. Some of the things that they have missing, and it was a main thing, was having a pass rush and being able to hold teams to low points so Peyton (Manning) can do his thing. I feel like it's perfect for me to come here, and that's why I feel like it was a perfect fit."

Ware was released Tuesday afternoon by the Cowboys. He was contacted by a dozen teams, according to his agent, and made his first visit Wednesday to Englewood, Colo., at the Broncos team facility. Vice president and general manager John Elway improved his sparkling record of sealing the deal with marquee free agents.

He will earn $20 million guaranteed over the lifetime of the deal, including $13 million next season, matching what he would have made in Dallas.

Ware, released by Dallas after 117 sacks in nine seasons because of a combination of his $16 million cap figure and recent health woes, potentially provides a jolt to a Broncos defense that Tuesday signed cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward, two of the top players available on the open market.

"I knew what I was getting into with the Denver Broncos," Ward said Wednesday. "They have a great tradition, a great winning history. It's all about winning. ... I knew that's what I was going to get coming here."

Ware underwent elbow surgery and missed time with a groin injury last season -- the first three games he didn't start in his career with the Cowboys, which began in 2005. He was drafted 11th overall and had 11 or more sacks in seven consecutive seasons.

Ware, 32, was scheduled to make $12.25 million in base salary in 2014 and posted a career-low six sacks last season. Releasing him created more than $7 million in cap space, but a large hole in Dallas' woeful defense which finished 32nd in the NFL last season.

Denver's top pass rusher in 2013 was Shaun Phillips, who signed late in free agency but filled the right defensive end position vacated by Elvis Dumervil. Von Miller, who was suspended the first six games of the 2013 season, is rehabbing from a torn ACL and could be limited in training camp. Miller is listed as a linebacker on the Broncos two-deep depth chart but he's utilized in a pass-rushing role.

"We are extremely excited to have DeMarcus here," Elway said Wednesday. "Also the ability and the leadership qualities that he's going to bring to the defense, the toughness that he's played with throughout his career. He is going to be able to get after the passer. He told (secondary coach) Cory Undlin, give him two-and-a-half seconds, he'll be there in two-and-a-half seconds. I don't doubt him when he says that."

The Broncos re-signed wide receiver Andre Caldwell on Tuesday but are prepared to lose Eric Decker. Denver also has Pro Bowl receivers Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and tight end Julius Thomas under contract.

Denver was mentioned as a potential destination for running back Darren Sproles, who learned Tuesday while perusing Twitter that he would be traded by the New Orleans Saints.
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