DENVER – Ty Warren’s career to date suggests he’ll be able to help the Broncos’ defensive line. He’s been steady, productive, stout against the run and often capable of a pass rush — especially between 2006 and 2008, when he had 13.5 sacks to go along with 178 total tackles.
The only concern, however, are his recent injuries, which likely combined with the Patriots’ acquisition of Albert Haynesworth as the reasons why they jettisoned him after eight seasons.
A hip injury ended Warren’s 2010 season before it began, but injuries limited him in the previous two seasons; a groin injury kept him out three games in 2008 and ankle problems cut his season short by three games a year later.
Until 2008, Warren had been one of the league’s most durable interior linemen; from the beginning of his career in 2003 until November 2008, he only missed one of his first 90 games. Since then, he’s missed 22 of 35.
Denver’s nose tackle of 2010, Jamal Williams, offers hope that such injuries can be overcome; after missing 15 games in 2009, he started every game in 2010, even though at 34 years of age, he didn’t match the production of his prime years with the Chargers.
Warren, however, is four years younger — he turned 30 in February — and will likely find himself as part of a more balanced rotation that suddenly looks capable of providing the gap-clogging, guard-and-center-occupying work that can set Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller free to rush the passer, while giving middle linebacker Joe Mays (or Nate Irving) freedom to attack runners before their blocks can fully develop.
It’s logical to expect Warren to have much more fuel left in his tank than Williams.
If the Broncos can keep Warren’s hip issues of 2010 from recurring, and don’t overuse him, his $10 million, two-year contract — of which $2.5 million is guaranteed — should be money well spent.