The T.J. Ward Situation

Thomas RitchiePre-Season1 Comment

Earlier this week, rumours broke that the Broncos were looking to trade T.J. Ward. Starting strong safety T.J. Ward, who in May said he wanted to finish his career with the Broncos. Then, Mike Klis broke the news that if Denver couldn’t trade Ward, they would cut him, ahead of the final year of his contract.

Safety is a position where Denver has a lot of depth, with T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart as the starters, backed-up by the young and incredibly talented Justin Simmons and Will Parks. Jamal Carter, an undrafted free agent, has also impressed in training camp and pre-season, and is in with an excellent chance of forcing his way onto the 53-man roster. So yes, the Broncos do have incredible depth at safety, but TJ Ward is a part of that depth.

Ward is a huge figure in the locker room, as Brandon Marshall suggested, and any move to take him off the team would unsettle the Broncos defence. Ward is a huge part of the formidable no-fly zone, with three interceptions and 19 passes defended in his three years in Denver. He also hits incredibly hard, and has picked up five sacks whilst with the Broncos, and in his 14 starts last season combined for 87 tackles. T.J. Ward is one of the leaders on the Broncos roster, and there would be a huge, gaping hole if he left.

However, when all is considered, Denver is much stronger at safety than at other positions, and at the moment the front seven is a slight concern. Zack Kerr, Jared Crick and Derek Wolfe are all sidelined from the defensive line, although Crick and Wolfe should be back for week one albeit with no game time. Shaquil Barrett returning from NFI has been a huge boost, but Shane Ray is still sidelined and could miss a couple of weeks of the regular season. Rumours have linked Denver with a move for New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, and the Broncos could certainly benefit from an addition in the front seven. But at the cost of T.J. Ward? I’m not too sure.

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