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Ware's Dallas exit biggest early free agency move

Cowboys Release DeMarcus Ware

The biggest move at Tuesday's start of the NFL free-agency signing period was a departure: Franchise sack leader DeMarcus Ware was released by the Dallas Cowboys to create room under the salary cap.

With the cap rising $10 million to a record $133 million, a crop of players quickly found new homes as soon as the market official opened Tuesday afternoon - and offensive linemen were a popular commodity.

Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert and the Miami Dolphins agreed to a five-year contract worth more than $45 million, according to a person familiar with the negotiations, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team hadn't made an announcement.

Albert takes over the position played at the start of last season by Jonathan Martin, who left the Dolphins in October, leading to an NFL inquiry into bullying on the team.

Left tackle Jared Veldheer and the Arizona Cardinals agreed to a five-year contract worth $35 million, with $17 million guaranteed. Veldheer left the Oakland Raiders, who replaced him by giving former Ram Rodger Saffold a five-year deal.

Two guards switched teams when the Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms with Jon Asamoah, who was with the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Washington Redskins struck a deal with Shawn Lauvao, who left the Cleveland Browns.

Also moving: kick returner and receiver Dexter McCluster, who agreed to terms with the Tennessee Titans, leaving the Chiefs; defensive end Arthur Jones, who joined the Indianapolis Colts from the Baltimore Ravens; defensive end Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai, who both joined the Falcons; and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who left the Houston Texans to go to the Dolphins.

Still, Ware's exit from Dallas was the most significant early development.

The 31-year-old Ware, who had 117 sacks and went to seven Pro Bowls while with the Cowboys, was set to count $16 million against the salary cap. By releasing him now, the Cowboys, who were right up against the cap, saved more than $7 million.

Ware had a career-low six sacks last season, his ninth in Dallas. He missed time with a thigh injury, then had offseason elbow surgery.

Others released included Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud, Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley and 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers.

Among players staying with their teams thanks to new deals reached Tuesday:

-PK Adam Vinatieri, the 41-year-old with four Super Bowl rings, agreed to a two-year contract with the Colts. Other PKs getting new contracts: Nick Folk (Jets), Phil Dawson (49ers), Dan Carpenter (Bills).

-RB Joique Bell is now signed with the Lions for $9.3 million over three years, with $4.3 million guaranteed.

-LB Perry Riley and the Redskins agreed to a deal worth about $13 million over three years, with about $4.25 million in guaranteed money. Washington also re-signed WR Santana Moss.

-DT Jonathan Babineaux got a three-year contract from the Falcons.

-TE Anthony McCoy got a one-year deal from the Super Bowl champion Seahawks after he missed all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon.


AP Sports Writers Bob Baum, Tim Booth, Schuyler Dixon, Josh Dubow, Larry Lage, Michael Marot, Janie McCauley, Teresa M. Walker, Dennis Waszak Jr., Joseph White and Steven Wine contributed to this report.

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madkono March 12 2014 at 1:20 PM

being a giant fan this is what i expected!!! dallas worse enemy, is not the giants, eagles or redskins...it's jerry jones!!! thank you jerry!!!

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Dan Stewart March 12 2014 at 9:53 AM

Jones let Ware go...Continued proof that Jones is a total IDIOT!!!!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
gus81166 March 12 2014 at 9:35 AM

why not just get rid of Jason Garrett and Tony Romo... what have they done lately?? How many times has Romo been hurt in the last 4 years ??? x-cowboyfan

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Frank March 12 2014 at 8:29 AM

Yes Jerry Jones is the problem for the team.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
s.biggs March 12 2014 at 6:59 AM

Well as usual Jerry Jones is a dumb F@#$ for getting rid of D Ware and we will sit back again this year watching the superbowl from home!!!!!!!!! If anything rethink your quarterback options and try someone new there!!!!!!! I am considering not even watching football this season!!!! Die Hard Dallas Fan!!!!!!!

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2 replies
Welcome Justin s.biggs March 12 2014 at 8:02 AM

You are correct about getting rid of Ware, but why would any GM or coach even consider rethinking a career top 6 QB ?

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1 reply
Ralph & Cindy Welcome Justin March 12 2014 at 8:14 AM

He's not as effective as he once was and he's becoming injury prone. Look to the future.

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Glenn s.biggs March 12 2014 at 8:39 AM

Dallas doesn't have an offense problem, as their offense, under Tony Romo, has been consistently in the top 10. They have a defense problem, as during that same stretch, they have been consistently in the bottom, especially the past 2 years. Ware needed to go; his production has been down and he costs way too much. Good move by Jerry.

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1 reply
s48man Glenn March 12 2014 at 8:49 AM

Yea another dufuss move by Jerry this guy ios the joke of the NFL they will be mediocore at best and they better hope Ware doesnt come back to haunt them they will continue to be loserssssssssssssssss.

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topspin360 March 12 2014 at 5:09 AM

Who cares, they spend a lot of money and can't make the playoffs?

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msteel3rivr March 12 2014 at 4:58 AM

jerry jones is not my favorite coach

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1 reply
frnthaf msteel3rivr March 12 2014 at 5:17 AM

Is that supposed to be sarcastic? Jerry Jones is the owner, not the coach you know.

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Kenny March 12 2014 at 1:53 AM

ware should be happy to get the hell away from jerry

Flag Reply +4 rate up
filliperogers March 12 2014 at 11:49 AM

For a fleeting moment I dreamed it was Jerry Jones who was moving on. This guy is part of the problem in Texas and will never be part of the solution. I moved on from the Cowboys years ago and continue to pat myself on the back every year for doing so!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
elrod.porkmore March 12 2014 at 1:06 AM

they should have sent room packin

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