Broncos free agency grades for T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Various media outlets graded the Broncos' signings of T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib Tuesday. Here's how they fared.

T.J. Ward

Walter Football - A+
Wow. How did the Broncos land T.J. Ward, one of the top free agents on the market, to a deal worth less than $6 million per year? This is an amazing signing, and it's well worth the first A+ of the day (not counting the Jaguars actually getting something for Blaine Gabbert, because that still seems unreal).

Bleacher Report - A+
This move was widely tipped, but perhaps not widely believed: The Denver Broncos, richer in talent than cap space, would make a play for the NFL’s best run-stopping safety (and a fine, young two-way player).

Sports Illustrated - A
Ward will add an entirely new dimension to Denver’s defense, and there’s no question that he’ll thrive under Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. Given the price tag, this is one of the best deals in this free agency period thus far.

Sporting News - A-
The Broncos needed to upgrade their safety play, and get a playmaking hard-hitter in the vein of what they saw in the Super Bowl against the Seahawks. Ward came at good market value compared to the rest of the players at his position.

CBSSports.com - B
The Broncos had big problems in the back end of their defense last season. Ward can step in and become the big hitter they need. I think he improved in coverage last season, so he's not just one-dimensional.

ProFootballFocus
Our #2 free agent safety T.J. Ward is moving to the Mile High City according to Adam Schefter where he will be relied upon to bring some physicality to the Denver secondary. Ward led all safeties with 45 stops (eight clear of next best Eric Berry) and graded positively in run defense in 11 out of his 16 starts. A little less consistent in pass coverage Ward still had big games against the NFC North with a +3.3 coverage grade in Minnesota and a +4.0 at home to Chicago in Week 15. This move does not bode well for Duke Ihenaco.

Aqib Talib

Note: Talib's news came later Tuesday night, so not a lot of grades were yet available.

Walter Football - B
I love Aqib Talib for 1-year deals. I hate Aqib Talib getting a long-term contract. Talib has frequent meltdowns and is always in danger of getting into some off-the-field incident, so in ordinary circumstances, handing him a 6-year, $57 million contract with $26 million guaranteed could be completely disastrous.

CBSSports.com - C+ (Money too high)
The Broncos had big problems in the back end of their defense last season. Ward can step in and become the big hitter they need. I think he improved in coverage last season, so he's not just one-dimensional.

ProFootballFocus
Talib was one of the best cornerbacks in football early in 2013, matching up with receivers such as Julio Jones, Vincent Jackson, A.J. Green, and Jimmy Graham, and coming away with a +8.2 grade during that time. Yet another injury forced Talib to miss three games in the middle of the season, and he wasn't the same, grading at -8.5 over his last seven games.

How would you grade the Ward and Talib signings?

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