(Reuters) - Premier free agent pass rusher DeMarcus Ware agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos, further fortifying the defense of the AFC champions, according to a report on the NFL’s website on Wednesday.
Ware, 31, agreed to a three-year deal worth $30 million, with $20 million guaranteed, reported NFL.com, citing a source informed of the negotiations.
The Broncos, who lost to Seattle in last month’s Super Bowl, are striving to position themselves to take the last step to an NFL championship in adding Ware to Tuesday’s acquisitions of cornerback Aqib Talib and hard-hitting safety T.J. Ward.
The Dallas Cowboys surprisingly released Ware on Tuesday, prior to the opening of free agency, in a cost-cutting move to position the club under the salary cap.
Ware is coming off an injury-plagued season in which his sack total dipped to a career-low six, after averaging 15.5 sacks per season before that.
Combining Ware with Von Miller could form the league’s fiercest pass-rushing duo for Denver, who were drubbed 43-8 in last month’s Super Bowl.
Denver has been aggressive before in adding key pieces through free agency.
Two years ago, the team successfully recruited the top free agent prize available in signing quarterback Peyton Manning.
Denver’s splash in reaching terms with Ware followed Tuesday’s frenetic opening day of the free agency signing period.
Over 20 prominent players have already joined new teams including safety Jairus Byrd, formerly of the Bills, who was signed by New Orleans.
Tampa Bay gave their new coach Lovie Smith, a one-time defensive coordinator, a new one-two punch on defense by signing defensive end Michael Johnson and cornerback Alterraun Verner.
The Falcons were also aggressive in building up through free agency, bolstering their line play adding defensive end Tyson Jackson, nose tackle Paul Soliai and guard Jon Asamoah.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue