T.J. Ward let his frustrations boil over Sunday in Orchard Park after his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, lost by a field goal to the Buffalo Bills.
"I came here to be an impact player," Ward, a three-time Pro Bowler who was released by the ESPN. "I can't do that if I'm not out on the field.", told
"You have to ask [defensive coordinator] Mike Smith and [coach] Dirk Koetter about that, but I'm at my wit's end," Ward said. "I did not come here to rotate. I did not come here to be a part-time player."
The Bucs signed Ward to a one-year deal worth $5 million to bolster a safety unit that struggled through the early part of last season. They also traded away safetyand a 2019 seventh-round draft pick in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2018.
But Ward hasn't gotten a starting full-time role. He previously made Pro Bowl three times and All-Pro once.
Last week, Ward was in a three-safety rotation withand rookie . also returned to action this week.
When Smith was asked about the rotation prior to the Bills game, he alluded to it being because Ward was hurt, but also because of the skill set of the other three players, wrote ESPN
"Each week there is going to be a different dynamic," Smith said. "T.J. was coming off an injury. He missed some time the previous week. He missed some time in practice. We've got, I think, very good depth at the safety position. I think each one of the guys has a different skill set that is going to help us based on who we are playing [and] how they are trying to attack us. I've said it many times: There are more than 11 starters on the defense."
Ward said that the injury has been fine the past two weeks.
"I'm only playing every two series," Ward said. "I'm not out there all the time. There's a lot going on. I'd love to help, but I can't. It's very frustrating."