Defensive end DeMarcus Ware is set to visit with the Broncos on Wednesday, and ESPN reports via a team source that Denver is confident it can sign the recently released Cowboy. Adam Schefter reported that the Broncos are the favorite for Ware.
Ware, who has 117 career sacks, would project to pair with All-Pro defensive end Von Miller, who tore his ACL late last season.
The Cowboys parted ways with the seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end on Tuesday. According to reports, the Cowboys weren’t comfortable paying the 31-year-old Ware $16 million coming off an injury-riddled season that saw him record a career-low six sacks.
“A decision like this, involving a man who is a cornerstone player in the history of your franchise, is extremely difficult,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in the statement.
– Saints running back Darren Sproles expected to get his release from the Saints on Tuesday, only to find out that the Saints decided to keep him and try to trade him.
Tweeted Sproles: The stuff u find out on twitter
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, more than 10 teams are interested in the 30-year-old Sproles. Sproles had 220 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 604 yards receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in 2013.
– Eric Decker, widely considered the best available free agent wide receiver, will visit with the Jets on Wednesday, according to Kimberly Jones of NFL Network. Decker had 87 catches, 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. The Jets are in need of a wide receiver after releasing Santonio Holmes on Tuesday. In 2013, the Jets ranked 31st in passing yards, 25th in total offensive yards, and 29th in total points.
– Denver has been active since free agency began at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Besides the reported signing of Patriots free agent corneberback Aqib Talib, the Broncos are said to have nabbed Browns safety T.J. Ward, agreeing to a four-year, $23 million contract with $14 million guaranteed, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post. Ward recorded 112 tackles, two interceptions and a touchdown in 2013.
– To fill the loss of Ward, Cleveland signed 49ers safety Donte Whitner to a four-year, $28 million deal according to Schefter. Linebacker Karlos Dansby, who played for the Cardinals last year, also joined the Browns, signing a four-year, $24 million deal with $14 million guaranteed, according to Kent Somers of AZcentral sports. Whitner has 10 career interceptions in his eight seasons, while Dansby has 38 sacks and 15 interceptions in his 10 seasons.
– Colts safety Antoine Bethea reportedly found a new home with the 49ers, agreeing to a four-year, $23 million deal. Bethea has 806 tackles and 14 interceptions during his eight seasons with the Colts.
Tweeted Bethea: Indy it’s been real… Fans and city showed me nothing but love my eight years there and greeted me w/ open arms Appreciate all the support!
– Bills safety Jarius Byrd found a new home with the Saints, reportedly agreeing to a six-year, $56 million deal with $28 million guaranteed. Byrd, who was the No. 1 free agent on NFL.com‘s free agent list, had 22 interceptions in his five seasons with Buffalo.
– The Steelers poached Mike Mitchell from the Panthers, signing the five-year safety to a five-year, $25 million deal with $5.25 million guaranteed, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Mitchell had two forced fumbles, four interceptions and 66 tackles in 2013.
– Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins agreed to a three-year, $16.25 million deal with the Eagles according to NFL.com. Jenkins had six interceptions in his five years with the Saints.
– The Buccaneers wasted no time in finding cornerback help, signing Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner to a four year, $26.5 million contract with $14 million in guarantees. The 25-year-old Verner had his best season in 2013, recording five interceptions, 22 pass deflections and one touchdown.
– Cornerback Vontae Davis apparently decided to stay with the Colts, reportedly signing a four-year, $39 million deal with $20 million guaranteed. In 2013, Davis started all 16 games, recording one interception, 12 pass deflections and 46 tackles.
– A few running backs apparently found new homes on Tuesday. Vikings backup Toby Gerhart agreed to a three-year deal with the Jaguars for $10.5 million and $4.5 million guaranteed. Gerhart only had 36 carries last year, but he averaged 7.9 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns.
– Colts running back Donald Brown reportedly agreed to a similar three-year deal with the Chargers, getting $4 million in guarantees. Last season, Brown had 537 rushing yards for an average of 5.3 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 27 receptions for 214 yards and two touchdowns.
– Running back Joique Bell reportedly received a three-year, $9.3 million extension with the Lions. Bell had 650 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns in 2013.
– Darren McFadden reportedly took a one-year, $4 million deal to stick with the Raiders. In 2013 McFadden only had 379 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games.
– According to various reports, the Giants made a flurry of moves on Tuesday, adding Oakland running back Rashad Jennings, Chiefs guard Geoff Schwartz, and Seattle linebacker O’Brien Schofield (two-year, $8 million). Peyton Hillis was also re-signed by the team, agreeing to a two-year, $1.8 million deal.
– Julius Peppers time in Chicago ran out as he was released on Tuesday. To replace him, the Bears reportedly signed Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston to a five-year, $35 million with $15 million guaranteed. The 34-year-old Peppers recorded seven sacks compared to Houston’s six sacks in 2013.
– The Dolphins made some moves to bolster both their lines, reportedly adding Chiefs offensive tackle Brandon Albert with a five-year, $46 million deal and Texans defensive tackle Earl Mitchell with a four-year, $16 million deal. Albert made the Pro Bowl and Mitchell started 14 games and recorded 48 tackles in 2013.
– According to NFL.com, the Raiders signed tackles Austin Howard and Rodger Saffold to bolster their offensive line. Saffold received a five-year, $42.5 million deal while Howard received a five-year, $30 million deal. Saffold played in 47 of a possible 64 games with the Rams while Howard started every game for the Jets the past two seasons.