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Hall of Fame pass rusher DeMarcus Ware retires, taking one more option off the table for the Falcons

The free agent market just lost one of its best options, too.

NFL: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A year after DeMarcus Ware put up the lowest sack total of his career, he’ll walk away from the NFL. He leaves behind a historically great career.

Ware never played for the Falcons—though we all wish he would have—but you kind of have to salute someone this great. Ware’s 138.5 sacks are eighth all-time on the NFL’s list, and he incredibly put up a 19.5 sack season (2011) and 20 sack season (2008) during his 12 year career. The list of players who have done it better is a short one, and the list of players who have done it in just 12 seasons is even shorter.

From a free agent standpoint, Ware’s retirement leaves a hole in an already shaky market for pass rushers. To be clear: We don’t know if the Falcons would have pursued DeMarcus Ware, but he was still one of the better pass rushers on the market, and chances are the ones that remain will be snapped up in short order. The Falcons will hope to find their own elite pass rusher in the draft, then.

We wish Ware well in his retirement. May he never terrorize Atlanta again.