Ware joins Denver, bully victim Martin to 49ers

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 13 2014 09:30 AM | Updated as of Mar 13 2014 05:31 PM

SAN FRANCISCO - Denver added NFL star linebacker DeMarcus Ware and cornerback Aqib Talib on Wednesday while blocker Jonathan Martin, the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal's central figure, was traded to San Francisco.

The moves were among the highlights of the first 24 hours of free agency in American football as teams began reshaping their rosters for the 2014 campaign.

Ware reached a deal worth a reported $30 million (21.5 million euros) over three years, pending the results of a physical.

His addition gives the Broncos, who lost to Seattle in last month's Super Bowl, the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL with Ware prefering the right side and linebacker Von Miller the left.

Ware, 31, was surprisingly released Tuesday by the Dallas Cowboys, who saved $16 million off their payroll cap for 2014 with the move but lost a player who made 117 sacks since 2005.

Ware made 40 tackles and six sacks last season for Dallas despite missing three games due to a quadricep strain.

New England cornerback Talib agreed to a six-year NFL deal with Denver. Talib made 35 tackles, four interceptions and 13 pass deflections last season for the Patriots.

His deal, reportedly for six years at $57 million (41m euros), was the second big-name departure from New England to Denver in as many years. The Broncos landed receiver Wes Welker last year.

Welker knocked Talib out of the American Conference final last January with a low but legal block that caused a knee injury. Denver went on to win and qualify for the Super Bowl, where the Broncos were hammered by Seattle.

In 77 career games, Talib has 211 tackles and 23 interceptions, four of them returned for touchdowns.

Martin spent less than two seasons with Miami, walking away from the team last October upset at being bullied.

It led to team-mate Richie Incognito being suspended for the remainder of the season and the NFL launched an inquiry into the Dolphins' workplace activities.

An independent report last month concluded that Incognito and fellow linemen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey "engaged in a pattern of harassment" against Martin and two others.

"We feel that this move is in the best interests of all parties involved. We wish Jonathan well," said Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey.

The Dolphins, who landed an undisclosed NFL Draft pick in exchange for Martin, fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill in the wake of the scandal.

Martin, a 2012 second-round pick of the Dolphins who started his first 23 NFL games, was excited about his second chance in the NFL, tweeting: "Opportunities are few in the NFL. Can't wait to get to work."


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