It’s a significant difference. It suggests that the Broncos want to move Ward, and that they are trying to create a market for him by creating the impression that other teams want to acquire him.
Ward, 30, is entering the final year of a four-year, $22.5 million contract that he signed in 2014. He is due to earn a base salary of $4.5 million in 2017.
The trade talks could be a precursor to a decision to cut Ward, if a deal can’t be struck. The Broncos are deep at the position, and they could be inclined to save some money and move on from Ward on Saturday, if they can’t trade him.
Get ready for more talks of this nature, as teams carry 90 players in advance of Saturday’s deadline for reducing the roster to 53 players. And get ready for one of the craziest days of transactions that the league has ever seen on any day other than the first day of free agency.