Ward, 30, had been entering the final year of his contract, which would’ve paid him $4.5MM in base salary. While none of that total was guaranteed, the Broncos will still absorb $1.25MM in dead money as a result of Ward’s signing bonus proration accelerating onto their salary cap.
Ward started 41 games over three seasons in Denver after inking a four-year deal with the club prior to the 2014 season. Last season, he made 14 appearances, totaling one interception and one sack while ranking as the NFL’s No. 48 safety, per Pro Football Focus. Ward’s 75.9 grade was the worst mark of his career.
With Ward out of the picture, the Broncos will turn to Justin Simmons to start at safety opposite Darian Stewart. Simmons was a third-round pick in 2016 and made three starts during his rookie campaign.
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