This is an absolute steal. TJ Ward definitely took less money to join a contender in Denver because there’s no way 23 million over 4 years was the best offer Ward could get. He got 5 million dollars less over 4 years than Donte Whitner did to take Ward’s old spot in Cleveland. Jairus Byrd, meanwhile, got more guaranteed money (28 million) than Ward got total money, not to mention a 9 million dollar annual salary over 6 years. And neither of those deals were that bad.
Ward will slot in at strong safety next to Rahim Moore and be a massive upgrade at a position of need. He’s graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 3rd and 6th ranked safety in 2012 and 2013 respectively, the only safety in the NFL to finish top-6 both seasons. He was also 13th in 2011, despite missing 8 games with injury. That was really his only injury plagued season as he missed 2 games in his other 3 seasons combined, playing 54 games in 4 seasons, starting each of them and grading out above average on Pro Football Focus in all 4 seasons since being drafted in the 2nd round in 2010. This is a great move.