NFL teams have to whittle their rosters down from 90 players to 53 players by 2 p.m. Saturday. That’s when final cuts must be made. Increasingly, it sounds like three-time Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward will be among those let go.
Reports earlier this week indicated the Broncos could part ways with Ward. Denver has plenty of depth at safety with Justin Simmons, a former third-round pick in 2016, and Will Parks, who was also taken in last year’s draft in the sixth round, waiting their turns. And the Broncos could save a little money by cutting Ward, who’s owed $4.5 million in the final year of his deal.
But would the Broncos really do that to a key member of the No Fly Zone and someone who’s regarded as a team leader? It kind of sounds like they might.
“Nothing on that,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said after his team’s preseason finale Thursday. “Again, it is going to be a long weekend of a lot of transactions, you know, so I cannot speak to that. At the end of the day, we want the best guys for our football team, and if he is one of them, he will be.”
The qualifier “and if he is one of them” is not exactly a ringing endorsement.
If Denver does cut Ward, it will be interesting to see how some of the veterans on the Broncos defense react. Will any resentment toward the front office bubble up?
Linebacker Brandon Marshall has been vocal all week about the importance of keeping the 30-year-old Ward around.
Von Miller seemed to be in disbelief when he was asked about it.
“I spent the last three years with him,” Miller said. “It can’t be real. He’s such an impactful player on and off the football field, in and out of the locker room for the Denver Broncos. It’s just the nature of the National Football League. You can only control what you can control.”
We’ll find out soon what Denver’s front office decides to do. The final cut deadline is a little more than 24 hours away.
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