Klis mentions that the main reason why Ward is at risk of losing his spot on the team is due in part to Justin Simmons‘ development this year.
Both Simmons and Will Parks appear to be ready to take on larger roles in the Broncos’ defense by moving on from Ward, they could also free up some cap space that could be used to sign players such as K Brandon McManus and LB Todd Davis to contract extensions.
A few days ago, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that the Broncos have received calls and had trade conversations about possibly dealing away Ward.
Ward, 30, is a former second-round pick of the Browns back in 2010. He played out his rookie contract with the Browns before signing a four-year, $22.5 million contract that included $13.5 million guaranteed with the Broncos in 2014.
Ward is entering the final year of his contract and stands to make a base salary of $4.5 million for the 2017 season.
According to OverTheCap.com, trading Ward would free up $4.5 million of available cap space while creating $1.25 million in dead money.
In 2016, Ward appeared in 14 games for the Broncos and recorded 87 tackles, one sack, an interception, two forced fumbles and eight pass defenses. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 50 safety out of 90 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding an extension a potential trade involving Ward as the news is available.