Broncos release former Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward

The Broncos are parting ways with a high-profile member of their vaunted Super Bowl-winning defense.

All-Pro safety T.J. Ward has been released by the team. The veteran was due a non-guaranteed $4.5 million in the final year of his deal.

"This was a difficult decision to part ways with T.J. after everything he's done for our football team," general manager John Elway said in a statement. "He was a respected teammate whose attitude and physical mindset played a big part in our Super Bowl run. We thank T.J. for his contributions as a Bronco and wish him nothing but the best in the future."

Ward tweeted the following after his release:

The move comes after a week's worth of whispers that Ward, 30, would be let go after three seasons as a starting backstop for Denver. He battled hamstring issues during camp and lost footing to second-year defender Justin Simmons.

Unable to swing a trade for Ward -- although Rapoport noted that teams showed interest -- Denver is moving on from a core member of the club who logged three picks and five forced fumbles with the Broncos over 41 starts.

Initially drafted by the Browns in 2010, Ward is bound to find work in a hurry after building a reputation as a hard-hitting defender. In fact, it would come as no surprise to see him to land a new gig before the weekend wraps up.

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