Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 Free Agency: DeMarcus Ware and D'Qwell Jackson

The Green Bay Packers need help on defense and both of these players are either available now or will be released soon. Unfortunately neither one would help them next season.
The Cowboys have major salary cap problems and have to cut players just to get under the cap. Ware is scheduled to receive $12.25 million in 2014 and probably provides as much savings as anyone on their roster. Depending on the pay cut offered, he's likely to do well receiving an Elvis Dumervil type contract and around $10 million in guaranteed money for his next contract. His name recognition might provide him an added bonus.

The problem is that he's just not the same player he was back in 2011. I was surprised how ineffective he was as a pass rusher when the Packers played the Cowboys last December. Pro Football Focus still gave him a positive pass rushing grade for 2013, so he's still useful, but he's probably going to be paid more than he's worth. Also, if the Packers were to pursue him, he'd effectively move LB Nick Perry to a reserve role, and Perry earned a higher regular season grade from Pro Football Focus in fewer games last season. What they need to do is draft a better backup behind Perry for next season.
As underwhelming as A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones were last season, ILB D'Qwell Jackson has earned a huge negative grade from Pro Football Focus over the last two seasons for his run defense. He isn't known for his pass coverage either. He's got all the leadership intangibles that sports writers love to write about, but that doesn't help him play better on the field. Hawk was so bad last season that Jackson would still provide an upgrade, but not much of one. Based on the intense interest the NFL has already shown in him since his release, he's likely to be paid a lot more than he's worth too.

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