T.J. Ward
T.J. Ward has signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports)

After being released by the Denver Broncos as all 32 teams had to cut down to 53 players, T.J. Ward has landed on his feet rather quickly. The former Pro Bowl safety is on his way to Tampa Bay after signing a one-year deal with the Bucs.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson was the first on the story:

Ward now has a chance to make even more money this year than he otherwise would have in Denver. Ward was set to earn $4.5 million but can make $5 million if he reaches incentives in Tampa Bay. Ward was in the final year of his deal in Denver where the Broncos are obviously deciding to go with the younger alternative Justin Simmons. Pro Football Focus ranked Ward as the 48th best safety in 2016.

Tampa Bay has needed a big game safety for quite some time. Chris Conte and J.J. Wilcox are the incumbent starters as of now. The Bucs also drafted Justin Evans in the 2nd round this year who can play both cornerback and safety. It will be interesting to see how Ward fits in Mike Smith’s speed oriented defense.