A vital member of the Denver Broncos' "No Fly Zone" is shutting down his patrol zone for good.
"Today, I want to announce my official retirement from professional football," Ward wrote in a statement. "This period came fast, and yet it felt prolonged. We each have our own journey in this life and in this sport, and I proudly followed mine until my football path was complete. Regardless of the ups and downs, I stayed the course. Football is in my blood. I would play as long as I was able. In the end, I wasn't allowed to play anymore.
"I am honored and blessed to have completed 8 NFL years! Second round draft pick, all-rookie team, all-pro, pro bowler and Super Bowl 50 champion. The journey has been amazing!"
A second-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2010, Ward joined Denver in 2014, where he became a crucial member of the lock-down "No Fly Zone" secondary that spearheaded Peyton Manning and the Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 win.
An intelligent, hard-hitting safety, Ward earned two Pro Bowl bids during his career and compiled 607 tackles, eight interceptions, and 10 forced fumbles. The 34-year-old last played in 2017 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.