Good morning, Broncos Country.
With the advent of the Denver Broncos OTA's yesterday it is good to finally say — football is finally back.
A lot of interesting tidbits exist from yesterday's opening practice, but perhaps the most exciting news of all comes courtesy of the Denver Channel's Troy Renck, who broke an exclusive report that stated the Broncos and strong safety T.J. Ward have had preliminary contract extension discussions. It's a surprise for certain, but under the leadership of John Elway, the Broncos haven't been shy about rewarding players who have performed at a high-level for the team. Ward's play in his three seasons with the team has certainly been impressive, and a contract extension is certainly merited.
Ward is entering the final year of a four-year deal that he signed back in 2014, but hopes that he and the team can come to an agreement that will allow the fierce back-end enforcer of the No Fly Zone to remain a Bronco for the rest of his career. Since joining the team as a free agent three years ago, Ward has been an extremely valuable member of the secondary, whose fierce competitiveness and hard-nosed style of play has elevated the overall level of the Broncos' defense from good to great. His leadership has been invaluable and undoubtedly, he has cemented himself as one of the team's feature personalities in their locker room.
The team recently extended free safety Darian Stewart and spent two picks in the 2016 NFL Draft on Justin Simmons and Will Parks to shore up the position, which may have been preliminary moves to brace for Ward's potential departure if they are unable to reach an agreement. Addtionally, the Broncos signed undrafted free agents Jamal Carter and Orion Stewart, who are potential darkhorse candidates to make the team this season.
According to OverTheCap, the Broncos have just a hair over $15 million in cap room for the 2018 season, which is more than enough extend Ward. That number could rise significantly if the team opts to cut players who don't perform well in 2017, but deciding whether or not to add even more contract value to an area of the team (secondary) that is already loaded with high-profile deals may be a very tough decision.
I for one would love if the Broncos and Ward were able to come to an agreement that would keep him in the orange and blue until he decides to hang up his cleats. I think he deserves it and most importantly, it would be great to have him around to help tutor the team's young defenders as they continue to grow and develop.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this development in the comments section!
As always, thank you for reading and here is today's offering of Horse Tracks.
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