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T.J. Ward says the Browns never offered him anything

T.J. Ward AP

There was a time when we thought the Browns might consider the franchise tag on safety T.J. Ward.

As it turns out, they didn’t consider him at all.

The Broncos safety told SiriusXM NFL Radio that the Browns never offered him anything, and that he never met with new coach Mike Pettine.

I didn’t think I’d be gone but that’s the nature of this business and I’m happy to be with my new home in Denver and just looking forward to continuing a good career and getting better and winning a Super Bowl,” Ward said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I know that’s what it’s all about so I’m definitely excited about the future. . . .

“The guys that they brought in, the coaches, that whole new genre, they didn’t bring me in. I was surprised, but that the same time, I wasn’t. You know how it goes. Anything can happen at anytime. Guys come and go, get signed, released, it’s the nature of the business. I was trying to prepare myself and tell myself don’t be surprised, just roll with the punches…”

The Browns instead brought in 49ers free agent Donte Whitner, making it clear they had a different plan.

Of course, Ward went through three head coaches in four years, and never knew from week to week who his quarterback might be.

With a soft landing in Denver, you’d think he wouldn’t be complaining.

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23 Responses to “T.J. Ward says the Browns never offered him anything”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 21, 2014 8:12 AM

    This is bizarre and I feel like there is a lot more to this story that needs to be uncovered.

  2. 4thqtrsaint says: Mar 21, 2014 8:16 AM

    Didn’t sound like he was complaining. Sounded like he was just saying what he felt at the time it went down.

  3. ballboy48 says: Mar 21, 2014 8:24 AM

    Something tells me his agent overvalued his client, after one pro bowl season, and Cleveland saw that. He’s been healthy one full year. The guy can hit, but is very shaky in pass coverage.

  4. gmuck31 says: Mar 21, 2014 8:26 AM

    I’m glad he wasn’t resigned. Whitner a big upgrade. Tj is way over rated

  5. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 21, 2014 8:36 AM

    cLEAVEland Frowns

  6. vtsquirm says: Mar 21, 2014 8:36 AM

    i have a hard time believing the Browns wouldn’t care about losing a top young player to another team without any return. Then again, they are the Browns.

  7. pftbro says: Mar 21, 2014 8:44 AM

    If he is sooooo happy in Denver why is he popping off about what Cleveland did or didn’t do. One thing is for sure, this guy is a liability in pass coverage and gets fooled easily on deep routes or crossing patterns, alway out of position.

  8. gooboy6 says: Mar 21, 2014 8:50 AM

    As a Chiefs fan, it gives me even more comfort that Elway is in over his head. Chiefs desperately need a safety but didnt even sniff the guy, Browns ? No interest. Then Elway slobbers all over himself and overpays for the guy, love it

  9. bbb82 says: Mar 21, 2014 9:02 AM

    “that whole new genre”

    What?

  10. daltongang1 says: Mar 21, 2014 9:06 AM

    Bad move Cleveland. TJ Ward was PFF’s no.1 safety vs Run in both 2012 & 2013. As for Whitner he is a hard hitter, but often over pursues and has been abused vs the pass. Major Cleveland downgrade

  11. rep818 says: Mar 21, 2014 9:09 AM

    probably meant to say “that whole new regime.” That other soft “g” word is what he was going for…. I think.

  12. matthoover4 says: Mar 21, 2014 9:10 AM

    Sounds a little like TJ Ward is overrated, considering the Browns were willing to give “Hitner” more to come in from SF than they were willing to keep one of their own.

    I understand he was a Pro Bowler and 2nd Team All-Pro last season…for the first time in his 4-year career…but let’s not speak of him like he’s the 2nd coming of Ronnie Lott.

    The Broncos are just setting up to choke once again.

  13. torpedo8 says: Mar 21, 2014 9:16 AM

    I believe TJ meant to say ‘regime’, but it didn’t come out that way.

    Yes, Ward was No.1 against the run, but our problem wasn’t “the secondary isn’t stopping the run” our problem was other teams could convert 3rd downs at will through the air. And here’s the telling statistic, right from PFF:

    Ward’s receivers caught one of every 9 balls thrown their way, Whitner’s caught one of every 30 balls thrown their way. See the difference?

    To top it off, Whitner’s not that bad against the run, either. Upgrade.

  14. cl3veland says: Mar 21, 2014 9:42 AM

    Why would this surprise him? He is talented, no doubt but he’s also a “me first” team second guy. He had a career year, in a contract year.

    Anyone who follows the Browns read or heard his consistent criticism of the offense after games this year and his unprofessional undermining comments.

    I get that the losing is frustrating. He endured 4 years of it. The audience he was whining to through the media has endured 20+ years of it.

    He sounded like a baby who didn’t want to play there. Yes he’s talented, but he also seemed like a cancer in the locker room. Farmer and Pettine have to seek info from players to have a pulse on the players they inherited. They knew he didn’t want to be there (or at least acted that way) Heck, all one has to do to conclude that is to listen to his verbal rants to the media.

    Is it any wonder they replaced him with Whitner? A Cleveland native who wanted to “come home”?

    Good Riddance to TJ, wish him the best but don’t act like that all season and then wonder why you weren’t offered a contract.

  15. steelerben says: Mar 21, 2014 9:43 AM

    It may have also had something to do with the fact that the whole new “genre” thought they were going to be getting into the Jarius Byrd business at a discounted rate. That quickly didn’t pan out, because who is going to offer a discount to come to a franchise that has had so much turmoil (even if it means getting out of Buffalo).

  16. believeland1954 says: Mar 21, 2014 9:46 AM

    The bottom line was the Browns lost 4 or 5 games last year when having a lead in the 4th Qtr. They were also horrible on 3rd down. DJ and Ward were “leaders” of that defense. I’m tired of guys being referred to as Pro Bowler. If I’m not mistaken, Derek Anderson was a Pro Bowler. Give me guys that have won and know how to close out a game.

  17. metitometin says: Mar 21, 2014 11:08 AM

    What is this cheap shot artist still doing in the league? He should have been suspended at least 4 games for his dirty hit on Gronk.

  18. pabrownsfan says: Mar 21, 2014 11:37 AM

    It was a clean hit on Gronk. Besides he may be getting hit “elsewhere” now.

  19. oldcracker says: Mar 21, 2014 11:37 AM

    As I’ve said in several posts; the changes from D. Jackson to K. Dansby, and the change from Ward to Whitner are basically “a wash.” There are gains and losses in each.

    I don’t see it as any form of disrespect to anyone. I just think the Browns were looking for a better mix and veteran leadership….fresh faces to bring in a new attitude.

    After this many losing seasons, “losing” has to change to “winning.”

    The only real “gain” has been the signing of Tate, and even that brings the uncertainty of him holding up as the #1 guy for an entire season.

  20. kosarkid says: Mar 21, 2014 12:24 PM

    I’ve always viewed a safety’s role in the D as an additional cover guy and the last line of defense. Brown’s didn’t need a run stopping safety. They need a cover safety. While Whitmer isn’t a top flight coverage safety himself, he still covers better than Ward. How many leads did the Brown’s blow last year. Those leads were blown by the offenses inability to close out a game (no ground game) & the defenses inability to handle a more aggressive passing game in the second half ( blame that on talent & coaching). We now have addressed most of these problems before the draft! I believe the Browns will be much improved, but not as improved as we want to believe. But at least they’re heading in the right direction finally.

  21. td40 says: Mar 21, 2014 1:35 PM

    Believeland1954 got this right.

    People want to smack down the Browns for dumb decisions all the time, but some decisions you’re only going to understand if you really watch every Browns game and pay attention. I can confidentally say that’s not the case for probably 90% of anyone who’s posting negative comments about the Browns ditching Ward.

    The fact of the matter is that he had a few good games over a couple years and was, for some odd reson, way overhyped and turned into a Pro Bowler? This guy was in the wrong place, late to the play, missing tackles because of alligator arms *constantly*. He’s the guy that is a non factor when he should be a factor, but then delivers a big hit now and then and people think he’s a top tier safety? Meh.

    Good move, Browns.

  22. bensstinkyfingers says: Mar 21, 2014 2:27 PM

    Whitner is an upgrade for the browns, he is a hometown guy, looking to be a leader (which Ward had no interest in being), Ward was tough against the run, but was abused in coverage a lot. Go Browns

  23. brownsmakemecrazy says: Mar 23, 2014 8:10 AM

    Have no problem with the Browns not offering TJ Ward anything. One good year wouldnt give me any comfort this guy deserves big money. While Whitner commits alot of dumb penalties, i have no problem with the Browns letting Ward walk

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