After getting the ax from the Dallas Cowboys, DeMarcus Ware will soon be weighing his options on the open market. The Oakland Raiders, while not exactly an ideal landing spot, could be one of the top teams in pursuit of his services.
Not only do the Raiders have the cap space to get a deal done – approximately $53 million after signing Rodger Saffold – but they have a glaring need at right end following the loss of Lamarr Houston to the Chicago Bears. Houston, who has held down the right end spot for the last few seasons, is coming off a big 2013 campaign, but walked away from the team to cash in during free agency.
If signed, Ware would immediately fill in as the starting right end. The Raiders lacked a significant pass rush outside of Houston last season, which is where Ware would excel in their 4-3 defense. He’s the Cowboys’ all-time leader in sacks with 117, and is two years removed from posting 19.5 quarterback takedowns.
The only problem is money.
Ware, who was released to save the Cowboys $16 million in cap space, will likely be looking for another huge deal on the open market. The Raiders have the money to make a deal happen, but likely won’t be willing to pay a hefty price to acquire an aging defensive end. If his market is cold early, though, Ware could be forced to take the best deal available.
Seeing as the Raiders already overpaid for Saffold, it’s not out of the question for them to do the same for Ware.
The Raiders are looking for a splash during free agency, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Ware would certainly check off that box, but could be a risky move for GM Reggie McKenzie. If they can get him for a reasonable price, though, you have to believe Oakland would seriously consider working out a deal.