Tampa Bay Bucs safety T.J. Ward is not starting his offseason off well.
Tampa Bay Bucs T.J. Ward, 31, was arrested at his Tampa apartment at 8:11 a.m. Wednesday. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant relating to a previous (and unreported) arrest. Ward was booked for possession of marijuana and released on $2,500 bond at 11:46 a.m. In Florida, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana counts as a felony.
He’s facing a felony count of possession of marijuana, as well as a misdemeanour count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Ward came to the Bucs four months ago from Colorado, where he was a Pro Bowl safety for the Broncos.
The original arrest took place on Oct. 25, at 4:45 p.m. on a Wednesday during the week. This was leading up to the Bucs’ first game against Carolina. Tampa Police officers responding to an “active intrusion alarm” at Ward’s apartment. They were allowed in by Ciera Woody, 38, who was alone there.
There were two glass jars containing 99.9 grams of marijuana “in plain view,” according to the report, and Woody denied ownership and said they belonged to Ward. When he was later interviewed post-Miranda, he admitted knowledge of the marijuana inside jars “he occasionally smoked out of,” and admitted owning a “brass grinder containing marijuana residue.”
Woody said the marijuana was “medicinal” and later told police it was hers according to the report. She also faces the same felony possession charge as Ward. The amount of 99.9 grams equates to 3.5 ounces.
That arrest went unreported and likely would have remained so, but Ward failed to appear in court on those charges and a warrant was issued.
After signing a one-year, $4-million contract in August, Ward had a limited role with the Bucs. He had no interceptions and no forced fumbles. In addition, he totaled 30 tackles and starting only five games.
As an unrestricted free agent, it’s possible he had played his final game with the Bucs even before his arrest. The team was aware of Wednesday’s arrest but has not yet released any statement.