Denver's newest defensive back T.J. Ward said his road to the Broncos has been tough, but he feels blessed to be in Denver.
"It's been a long road," Ward said Wednesday at a news conference. He started as a walk-on at the University of Oregon.
"I'm truly blessed to be here today. ... I've surpassed most of my dreams. I really don't know how I got here, but I am excited to be here."
The Broncos' other new defensive backs, Aqib Talib, said Wednesday that as soon as Denver came into the picture the Broncos "immediately moved to the top of my list."
"We looked at the best package," Talib said of conferring with his agent as well as his brother. "It's Peyton Manning. It was the total package.. … Denver was just the best place."
Just before Ward's news conference at Dove Valley, news broke that the Broncos also have signed defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys.
Talib said he heard Tuesday night the Broncos were talking to Ware. Wednesday morning when Talib was flying to Denver, Ware was on the same flight in first-class with him.
"That's when I knew he could be my teammate," Talib said.
Tuesday, on the first day of the NFL's free-agency period, the Broncos signed Talib and Ward to long-term contracts. Talib signed a six-year deal, while Ward agreed to four years.
"I knew what I was getting into with the Denver Broncos," Ward said. "They have a great fan base, great tradition. … There wasn't much convincing."
Broncos general manager John Elway said Ward "will bring an attitude and physical presence" to the secondary.
Ward was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft out of Oregon by the Cleveland Browns, where he has started 54 games the past four seasons. He has five interceptions (one for a touchdown).
Talib spent his first 4½ seasons with Tampa Bay, which drafted him 20th overall in the 2008 out of Kansas, and then cornerback was traded to New England during the 2012 season. He has 19 career interceptions (four returned for touchdowns) and was selected for the Pro Bowl this past season.
"We know how much we hated playing against him, so we're thrilled he's come to the Denver Broncos," Elway said of Talib. "He's a tremendous player - tough, great cover guy."