Amid it all, the Ware and Peppers departures might have been the most significant developments.
The 31-year-old Ware, who went to seven Pro Bowls while in Dallas, 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 Bills quarterback Kevin Kolb (who failed a physical), Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud, Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley, 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers, Eagles safety Patrick Chung, and Bengals center Kyle Cook.
Among players staying put:
—RB Darren McFadden was given a $4 million, one-year contract by the Raiders.
—KR-WR Brandon Tate re-signed with the Bengals.
—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).
—CB Vontae Davis re-signed with the Colts.
—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 WR Santana Moss re-signed with the Redskins.
—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.
—WR Andre Caldwell got a two-year contract from the Broncos.