With two years and $26MM+ remaining on DeMarcus Ware‘s backloaded contract, the Cowboys will almost certainly have to make a move with their longtime pass rusher this offseason. According to Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas (via Twitter), Ware doesn’t expect to be waived and doesn’t anticipate taking a pay cut, but figures to restructure his deal.
Ware’s cap number exceeds $16MM in 2014 and $17MM in 2015, and the Cowboys are projected to be over the cap in both seasons, so cutting the 31-year-old would increase the team’s flexibility significantly. Restructuring the contract would create some short-term relief, but could pose problems for Dallas again down the road. Still, it sounds as if Ware isn’t open to the idea of accepting a pay cut, so we’ll have to wait and see whether or not the club pushes that idea.
After recording seven straight seasons of 11+ sacks, Ware was slowed by a quad injury this past season, and posted just six sacks in 13 games. He’s also expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow this offseason. While that procedure is a minor one and shouldn’t affect his availability in the summer or fall, it’s another signal that it will be challenging for Ware to regain his old form going forward.