In the midst of a number of splashy moves made to improve their defense this past off-season, the Denver Broncos signed safety T.J. Ward away from the Cleveland Browns.
The plan for the 2014 season is to have Ward join Aqib Talib and pass-rushed DeMarcus Ware in an effort to tighten up the back end of a Broncos’ defense that really struggled at times in 2013, even en route to a Super Bowl appearance.
That plan was almost thwarted in Ward’s case, however, when allegations of assault and disturbing the peace emerged that he had thrown a glass at a female bartender in an “all nude” establishment.
On Monday those charges were dropped in exchange for Ward fulfilling a community service sentence. From ESPN.com:
Prosecutors have agreed to drop charges against Broncos safety T.J. Ward in exchange for community service.
A judge accepted the deal on Monday during a brief hearing…
…He told the judge he understood the conditions of the program but said nothing else.
A judge will review the status of the case on Oct. 31.
It sounds like this might be a case that passes relatively unnoticed, then, though we know that it will go in Ward’s file regardless. Inconsistent though the punishments of Commissioner Goodell can be, we know better by now than to assume an acquittal in court means no disciplinary action from the league, even if this incident simply counts against Ward in the event of any future issues.
With this settlement in place, it sounds like Ward and the Broncos can focus, at least for now, on having their new safety ready to go as their preseason schedule gets underway.