Some think DeMarcus Ware retired a week after making it clear that he planned to keep playing because he was getting little or no interest in free agency. That may not have been the case.
Ware recently told Peter King of TheMMQB.com that a team offered him $9 million for 2017.
Ware didn’t disclose the team, or the details of the offer. (He met with the Rams before returning.) Last year, Ware reduced a $10 million salary to $6.5 million with the Broncos, including a chance to make the difference back via a formula that consisted of $1.25 million for eight sacks, $2.5 million for nine, $3 million for 11, and $3.5 million for 13. (He had four sacks, in 10 games.)
Whatever was, or wasn’t, on the table foe 2017, the question becomes whether Ware will come back at some point before or during the season.
“[M]y body feels great,” Ware said. “My body feels youthful. There is no question in my mind that I could have played two or three more years. But I’m realistic about it. My body’s good now, but how long will that last? How long can your body hold up at 34, 35, when what you do is likely to hurt yourself?”
When October or November or December rolls around — and Ware possibly feels even better than he does now — will he decide to return for a limited run with a team that seems to be ready to make a run at a Super Bowl? No matter how he feels about continuing now, he may feel very differently when football season begins without him.
“How many times when I go through a full season do I feel great from start to finish?” Ware said.
The easy way to avoid that is to not go through a full season, but to hand-pick the date and location of his return, with the goal of getting a second ring, walking off into the sunset as a champion, and removing any doubt (there should be none) as to whether he’ll make it to Canton on the first try.