One of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history is hanging his cleats up. DeMarcus Ware, who ranks eighth all-time with 132 1/2 sacks, announced his intentions to retire after a 12-year professional career Monday.
“After a lot of thought and prayer, I’ve decided to accept the unknown and retire from my NFL career,” Ware wrote Monday afternoon on Twitter. “Tempting opportunities still present themselves for me to play and I feel better than I have in years. However, long term health and quality of life outweigh the spark and passion to play that I once had.”
Ware got his start with the Dallas Cowboys in 2005. Dallas took him 20th overall out of Troy. Ware would go on to record 117 sacks in nine seasons with the team. He twice led the league in sacks as a Cowboy, recording 20 of them in 2008 and 15 1/2 in 2010.
Ware became a member of the Denver Broncos as a free agent in 2014, which was the same year Denver also signed Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward and Emmanuel Sanders. He had 10 sacks his first season in Denver, 7 1/2 in 2015 and 4 sacks last year. Back injuries caused his production to decline. Ware played 28 percent of all defensive snaps in 2016 compared to 68 percent in 2014.
Ware expressed his desire to become a free agent earlier this month.
He seems to have had a change of heart since then. He retires as one of the most prolific pass rushers ever, a nine-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl champion.
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