There's that old saying, "if you can't beat them, sign them." Well, the New York Giants know what it is like to watch DeMarcus Ware dominate them for several years as a defensive end and outside linebacker of the Dallas Cowboys.
Ware has been the defensive leader and fixture of the Cowboys since 2005 and has 117 career sacks, but at 31-years-old, there's a chance that the longtime sack king of the Cowboys could be a free agent this coming offseason, as Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas talked to Dallas owner/GM Jerry Jones and said he may have no choice but to let him go.
"We will address it," Jones said of Ware's contract status. "We made a change in what he's doing. We put his hand down [play defensive end], rather than stand him up [play outside linebacker]. That was a change, and at the same time, he's had a tough time getting on the practice field because of various injuries, all of that we have to weigh with how much of that has impacted … where he is with his career and his age. Those are the ingredients in the stew and we have to stir it up and see where we're going. It will be a very difficult call for us because of how much salary cap he uses."
Where do the Giants fit in with regards to Ware? With Justin Tuck set to hit free agency and the possibility of Mathias Kiwanuka being a cap casualty, the team will need help at the position because Jason Pierre-Paul is coming off an injury-plagued 2013 season and Damontre Moore didn't play enough in his rookie season to be considered a definite lock to be a starter. So if Tuck and Kiwanuka are both goners, why not look at Ware if he's a free agent. Dan Graziano of ESPN New York explored the possibility on Tuesday for the Giants.
"Have to throw him in here, right? I still think Jerry Jones is just blowing smoke and there's no chance he'll cut Ware for cap reasons. But if he does, this is a Hall of Fame talent who recorded at least 11 sacks in each of the seven seasons prior to 2013. The Giants (and many other teams) would be nuts not to at least kick the tires."
With Ware set to make $12.5 million in 2013 and a cap number of $16 million, he very well could be a cap cut in Dallas if he doesn't re-work his deal and take a significant pay cut. But would the Giants be willing to fork over the kind of money needed to land someone like Ware?
Last year, they were in a similar situation when Dwight Freeney wanted to come play for his childhood team in the Giants, but didn't have the money to sign him and he eventually went to sign with the San Diego Chargers. Plus, if the Giants are going to bring back a veteran pass rusher, why not just re-sign Tuck, who may not cost as much?
Well, lets just assume that both Tuck and Kiwanuka no longer available and have moved on from the Giants. And this is a chance to land perhaps one of the best pass rushers over the last 10 years who has at times, made life for Eli Manning difficult and playing for the Giants would give him the chance to play against his old team and some revenge for cutting him, if he were to be a cap casualty in Dallas.
Right now, like Graziano mentioned in the story on ESPN, it's tough to imagine Jones parting ways with such a popular figure and a future Hall of Famer in Ware, but in the NFL of 2014, not every player gets to finish his career with the team they started with; Peyton Manning can certainly attest to that notion. But if Ware gets cut loose and is a free agent, it wouldn't be the craziest idea in the world for the Giants to explore the possibility of looking to add a top pass rusher like Ware, especially if Tuck bolts the team.
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