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Former Browns S T.J. Ward announces retirement

The 2nd-round pick made 2 Pro Bowls, played 8 seasons and won a Super Bowl with the Broncos

T.J. Ward, who began his career with the Browns and went on to win a Super Bowl with the Broncos, announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, putting an official end to an eight-year run filled with plenty of hard hits.

Ward, a strong safety, logged eight seasons in the NFL, his last coming with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017. He appeared in 107 games with 99 starts and compiled 607 tackles, eight interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.

Ward thanked the Browns and his other NFL teams in a letter provided to Denver7 Sports.

"This period came fast, and yet it felt prolonged," Ward wrote. "We each have our own journey int his 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."

The Browns selected Ward, who played his college ball at Oregon, with their second-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He took over as an immediate starter and rarely left the field when healthy. Over four years in Cleveland, Ward started 54 games while amassing five interceptions and five forced fumbles. He earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2013, his final year with the franchise.

Ward starred for the Broncos from 2014-16, earning another trip to the Pro Bowl and winning his first Super Bowl. He capped his career with the Buccaneers in 2017, when he appeared in his final 12 games.