On Saturday, the Denver Broncos cut safety T.J. Ward instead of trying to cut his salary and keep him on the team. The next day, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him to a one-year, $5 million deal.
Ward, who was set to earn a $4.5 million salary in 2017, felt the Broncos front office was out of line with the suddenness of his release.
“You could have let me know what was going on,” Ward said, via NFL.com. “You had a full offseason. I know it’s a business, but when you have good employees, you’re supposed to treat your employees a certain way. And I think they handled it completely unprofessional. That’s just my opinion.”
However, Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib figures that’s just the nature of the NFL.
Aqib Talib talking about TJ Ward: "I found out I got traded in a hyperbaric chamber. That's part of being a professional. TJ will do great."
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 4, 2017
Last season, Ward was arguably at his most productive with the Broncos, forcing three fumbles and amassing 87 combined tackles, a sack and an interception, which means the Buccaneers team as a whole could truly benefit from him.
Meanwhile, Darian Stewart, Justin Simmons and Will Parks will hope to make up for Ward’s absence in Denver.