Risk vs. reward in Ware signing

Insider's experts debate whether Denver made right move, is AFC favorite

Updated: March 12, 2014, 7:36 PM ET
By Louis Riddick, Mike Sando, Matt Williamson,
Bill Polian
and Field Yates | ESPN Insider

DeMarcus WareAP Photo/Kevin TerrellWhat kind of defensive impact will DeMarcus Ware have on the Denver Broncos?

Following DeMarcus Ware reaching a three-year, $30 million contract agreement with the Denver Broncos, Insider asked five of its experts to weigh in on whether it was a good deal for the Broncos, what the risks involved are and whether Denver should be considered the favorite to win the AFC in 2014.


Is this a good move by the Broncos?

Louis Riddick: You can see what they were trying to do. They need a pass-rusher, Von Miller is coming off a torn ACL and they're trying to build back to front to try to help a secondary that struggled last year (they signed Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward to help in that area on Tuesday). So it looks good on the surface. This is DeMarcus Ware we're talking about, one of the best pass-rushers of all time -- but there are also some unknowns you can't project. This is a player who is getting older, whose durability is a question and whose productivity is decreasing, and you're asking him to adapt to a new community, new coaches and new teammates; none of that is easy, and I've seen situations like this go badly before. He is a high-character guy both in terms of football and off the field, and they have good team leadership in place with Peyton Manning, John Fox and John Elway, but this is still a risky proposition.

Matt Williamson: Between Ware, Julius Peppers and Jared Allen, I am still highest on Ware. Plus, this is more of a multiple front and this defense knows how to utilize smaller linebacker/defensive end "tweeners" like Elvis Dumervil, Shaun Phillips and Miller. So yes, I like the fit quite a bit. And I can't be critical of a team going all-in to try to win the Super Bowl given it has a great quarterback with a quickly closing window. It is aggressive and bold, but I say, "go for it."

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.