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Bucs sign T.J. Ward to 1-year deal worth up to $5M

T.J. Ward wasn't on the open market for long.

Just hours after the Denver Broncos parted ways with the veteran defensive back, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to a deal with Ward. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports Ward's deal is for one year and worth up to $5 million, per sources informed of the deal.

The former Broncos safety, who was released in part because of the non-guaranteed $4.5 million due to him in the final year of his deal, started 41 games in Denver the last three seasons and was a key cog in the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 run. Ward logged 87 tackles and an interception last season, though he battled hamstring issues during camp and appeared to lose footing to second-year defender Justin Simmons.

"[Ward] was a respected teammate whose attitude and physical mindset played a big part in our Super Bowl run," Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement after cutting the defensive back. "We thank T.J. for his contributions as a Bronco and wish him nothing but the best in the future."

Ward, 30, will compete for playing time in Tampa with Chris Conte and Keith Tandy, who the Buccaneers list as their starting safeties. Rookie Justin Evans will play deep at the safety position.

The Buccaneers traded offseason addition J.J. Wilcox and a 2019 seventh-round pick to the Steelers for a 2018 sixth-round pick on Sunday.

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