Could the Arizona Cardinals take a run at DeMarcus Ware?
By Erich Becker
Could the success of the Denver Broncos help the Arizona Cardinals?
Congratulations to the Denver Broncos on winning Super Bowl 50, but instead of a trip to Disney World, how about some offseason roster trimming? As all 32 teams enter into the postseason after last night’s Super Bowl in Santa Clara, it now becomes a game of numbers. How many players, how much money, how much cap space.
With the salary cap expected to increase nearly $10m to between $150m and $153.4m next season, a lot of teams will take a look at their rosters and which players helped them get to where they are, but cost too much to keep around at the price they’re at. These are cap casualties.
Last season the Cardinals had to cut some space here and there, center Lyle Sendlein was a cap casualty until he signed back with the team after not receiving any offers outside of the Cardinals, or any offer he was willing to take. Its part of the game. As a player, and a team, become more successful, it costs more money to keep those players together, eventually teams will have to part with players, marginal or very good, because of the amount of money available to them and find younger players, via free agency or the draft, to restock the shelves.
This is parity. This is why you have a salary cap with no luxury tax, you have to be under the cap, or, well, what would happen if you were over the cap?
In any event, the Denver Broncos just won the Super Bowl, but if you look at their team and its salary numbers for next season, according to OverTheCap.com, they’re projected to be around $142m with Peyton Manning returning. Manning retiring gives the team $19m in cap space (or they can cut him) but one of the biggest pieces of that winning defense was DeMarcus Ware who would save the team $10m in cap space if he’s cut before June 1.
That’s a lot of players for $10m, and a lot of space under the cap.
So where do the Arizona Cardinals come into this equation? Simply put, their GM, Steve Keim, has gone on the record as saying the single biggest near for the team is that of a pass rush, and if you watched the game last night, you saw Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and Ware all over Cam Newton, all night. That’s what the Cardinals need.
Now there hasn’t been any news linking the two teams, and Ware is under contract for next season, and the Broncos could keep the 11-year veteran on the roster, but with a $10m cap savings and players, like the aforementioned Miller, who is a free agent come March, they’re going to need some money.
The Arizona Cardinals have never been shy with signing veterans who still have some left in the tank, while the contracts have usually been single year, “prove-it” contracts, signing a veteran like Ware, and drafting one or two great OLB in the draft to study under him would be a boon for this defense. Couple that with Tyrann Mathieu’s recovery and Markus Golden’s rise into his second year, this could be a formidable defense going forward.
So, nothing has been said, but it would be dumb for the team to not even consider it once free agency starts in March, that is, if Ware is cut.