The Denver Broncos have parted ways with Pro Bowl and All Pro safety T.J. Ward. The team cut the three-time Pro Bowler and one-time second team All Pro in their cut down to 53 players. He is a vested veteran, which means he does not have to go through waivers.
The move is not surprising given that they were trying to trade him last week. Ward is 30 and the Broncos have worked to build younger depth at safety. Injuries have been a bit of an issue for him, missing two games last season and four the season before. The Broncos save $4.5 million by cutting him.
Ward has primarily played strong safety, and will likely land a new job in relatively short order. Fans across the league will ask about him, but for the San Francisco 49ers, it is unlikely they would pursue him. Eric Reid has looked great thus far in the new strong safety role. He is perfect in more of a box safety role, but still offers some free safety flexibility if needed. But Ward would not supplant him in the starting lineup at this point.
Once Jimmie Ward gets back into the starting lineup, the primary safety reserves look like they will be Jaquiski Tartt and Lorenzo Jerome, and maybe Adrian Colbert. Tartt is more of a thumper, but can play both safety positions. The 49ers are likely going to use him in their sub packages backer when they look to get a bit bigger with their nickel and dime defenses.
TJ Ward will land a job somewhere, but it won’t be in Santa Clara.