When you’re strapped for cash, you’ve got to take chances. The Denver Broncos are about to take some chances.
According to a report from KUSA’s Mike Klis, the Broncos have approached both tackle Ryan Clady and defensive end DeMarcus Ware and have asked both All-Pro talents to take pay cuts heading into the 2016 season.
Ware, who turns 34 in July, is scheduled to make $11.6 million next season. That number may not be sustainable for the Broncos, who, pending the retirement of quarterback Peyton Manning, are estimated to have only $8.43 million in cap space.
Asking Ware to take a salary reduction makes sense from a fiscal standpoint. The nine-time Pro-Bowler’s production fell off last season thanks in large part to a back injury that kept him out for a number of games in the middle of the year. He recorded 7.5 sacks in 2015.
However, Ware’s value to the Broncos stretches far beyond the gridiron. He is the unquestioned leader of the Denver Broncos defense, which almost singlehandedly carried Denver to their third Super Bowl championship in the history of the franchise.
In particular, Ware has become a mentor to star pass rusher Von Miller. Before Ware arrived in Denver, Miller was on the verge of being suspended from football due to violations to the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Since Ware signed with the Broncos in the summer of 2014, Miller has returned to form as one of the most dominant defensive forces in the league, including a turn as Super Bowl MVP. During the lead-up to Super Bowl 50, Miller spoke glowingly about Ware’s role in his remarkable comeback.
“I’m a totally different guy than I was a couple of years ago,” Miller said. “DeMarcus was big, huge really.
Clady, who is the only Bronco left on the roster to have been drafted by Mike Shanahan, is set to make $9.5 million this season. That price tag would normally be a bargain for a four-time Pro-Bowler and two-time All-Pro left tackle. However, Clady has been sidelined with two season ending injuries in the last three years and when he has been able to get on the field, he hasn’t performed at the level he did during the prime of his career.
Earlier this month, Clady told reporters he would be willing to restructure his contract in order to stay in Denver for the rest of his career. Yet, Clady’s value on the open market could be significantly higher than what the Broncos will be able to offer him. Clady and his agent Pat Dyer, Jr. would have to be willing to accept a serious hometown discount in order to stay in the city that drafted him.
To get instant Broncos notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Mile High Huddle Insider! Check it out HERE.