DeMarcus Ware has been giving quarterbacks nightmares for more than a decade. If he has his way, he’ll be staying in those nightmares for at least a little while longer.
Following the first Super Bowl victory in his Hall of Fame career, Ware, 33, told reporters that despite being one of the oldest pass rushers in football, he intends to come back and play for the Denver Broncos next season.
“I’ve got a lot of gas in the tank,” Ware said after the game.
His decision may have as much to do with the special talent around him as it does his own performance. “Von was the one that added the gas to the fire for me,” Ware said. “That’s why I’m playing the way I’m playing right now. I don’t think about retiring. God still wants me to play. That’s why I’m still doing what I’m doing.”
Since joining the Broncos prior to the 2014 season, Ware has added both talent and leadership to a now Super Bowl champion defense. In the past two years, he has complied 17.5 sacks and 50 total tackles. However, the connection Ware made with Super Bowl MVP Von Miller may be his biggest impact on the organization.
When Ware arrived in Denver, Miller was in the NFL’s substance abuse program, and was well on his way to potentially wasting his elite talent. According to Miller, Ware put him back on the right track.
“He’s a leader, he’s a big brother to me,” Miller said in his Super Bowl MVP press conference Monday morning. “To help him achieve greatness is one of the best moments of my life.”
Considering Ware’s success since joining the Broncos, it’s no wonder he would want to come back in 2016. However, that may not entirely be up to him. Ware is scheduled to make $7 million in base salary next season and he's currently on pace to cost the Broncos a total of $11.6 million in cap space.
Denver has 16 players who will be unrestricted free agents this offseason and it’s highly unlikely Broncos General Manager John Elway will keep Ware around at such a high price when he has so many other players to pay, including Miller.
Unless Ware is willing to restructure his contract, Peyton Manning may not have been the only player who played their last game with the Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday.
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