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Von Miller’s Deal Could Force DeMarcus Ware out of Denver

It’s hard enough for a franchise to manage the constantly expanding salaries of NFL players. It’s an even harder task for the newly crowned Super Bowl champions; a lesson the Denver Broncos could be forced to learn the hard way this offseason.

It is being reported that pass rush specialist DeMarcus Ware could be ushered out of Denver pending the cap hit of Von Miller’s upcoming deal. Ware, who will be 34 by the start of the 2016 season, is scheduled to count $11.7 million towards the Broncos’ cap next year.

If it comes down to deciding between the two linebackers, general manager John Elway is faced with a no-brainer. The mercenary Ware is coming off a productive season, but the combination of his age and history of back and neck injuries might even lead to his retirement in the coming weeks.

Miller, on the other hand, will be 27, in the prime of his career, the leader of Denver’s ferocious defense, and the reigning Super Bowl MVP. But in the likely event that Denver can’t work out a long-term deal under its current cap commitments, Miller will be franchise tagged.

Paying the tagee the average of the five highest salaries earned by players in his position group, the franchise tag acts as a band-aid solution for a team with visions of locking up a player for the long haul. Miller’s expected cap hit of $13.4 million would mean the Broncos would be paying $25 million to just two defensive players. In which case, Ware is the odd man out.

This opens up other questions assuming Ware wants to keep playing. Unlike most veterans his age, Ware is no longer chasing that elusive ring, so he might not feel as motivated to accept less pay with a possible contender.

He may be tempted to return to Dallas where he is still beloved, or  try to squeeze every penny out of his waning career with a team like Jacksonville or Oakland.

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