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Broncos go all in on free agency

John Elway, executive vice president of football operations

John Elway, executive vice president of football operations of the Denver Broncos, arrives on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Jan. 30, 2014) Credit: Getty Images

It wasn't even two months ago that the Broncos were crushed by the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. But the way director of football operations John Elway has been behaving so far in free agency, the iconic ex-quarterback's mantra seems to be: Don't get mad, get better. 

The Broncos have been ultra-aggressive so far in filling their needs, and it looks as if they're not done just yet. 

On Day 1 of free agency, they signed free agent safety T.J. Ward, re-signed wide receiver Andre Caldwell, and then opened up the vault for Patriots free agent cornerback Aqib Talib with a six-year, $57 million contract. 

The Broncos are also looking at Giants free agent middle linebacker Jon Beason and Ravens free agent linebacker Daryl Smith; Denver has a need at the position after switching to veteran Wesley Woodyard late last season. Woodyard won't be back next season. 

Elway appears ready to put the icing on the cake sometime later today when he hosts former Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Ware, who was released by Dallas yesterday because he wouldn't agree to a pay cut. 

Ware has been beset by injuries the last two years and hasn't been at the level of the previous five seasons. But he appears healthy now, especially after undergoing off-season elbow surgery. And if he winds up with Denver, he'll fill a major need. The Broncos are still looking for a suitable replacement for Elvis Dumervil, who was lost on a technicality last year. Dumervil's agent failed to fax over paperwork before a deadline, and Dumervil was declared a free agent. He eventually signed with the Ravens. 

Elway hasn't been afraid to make bold moves in his role as the Broncos' top football man. His biggest coup came two years ago, when he beat out several other teams for Peyton Manning, who had two brilliant seasons and got the Broncos to the Super Bowl in Year 2. 

Manning was solved by the Seahawks' brilliant defense, but Elway clearly believes the window of opportunity is very limited because of Manning's age (he turns 38 on March 24). There may be only one, maybe two more shots at a title run, and Elway is doing everything in his power to surround Manning with the tools for success. 

In this case, it's building up a defense that was suspect last year, especially in the secondary. With cornerback Chris Harris expected back after a knee injury, he'll play opposite Talib. And Ward adds great range and tackling ability at safety. 

If Ware is signed, he'll beef up a pass rush that relies too much on Von Miller. 

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