Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
As reported by ESPN.com's John Clayton on Monday, Giants running back Derrick Ward has agreed to terms on a four-year, $17 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here's what NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas had to say about the deal.
The Giants had been preparing for this day for a long time, so it came as no surprise. They weren't going to pay Ward $4 million per year -- or even $3 million. And he wanted a chance to start. That will happen in Tampa Bay.
We'll soon know whether Wind (Ward) can be successful without Earth (Brandon Jacobs). I think Ward's a nice back, but he benefited greatly from Jacobs wearing down defenses. Can Ward be a 25-carry guy? Honestly, I don't think that would be a good situation for him. If the Bucs keep him somewhere in the 15-18 carry range, I think he'll be more effective.
Ward should be a nice complement to Earnest Graham. I didn't like his chances going to a team where he had to carry the load, but Ward should fit in nicely with the Bucs. The Giants will simply bump up Fire (Ahmad Bradshaw) to No. 2 in the rotation. He's a dynamic back who wasn't given a lot of opportunities last season. I think Tom Coughlin is excited about seeing what Bradshaw can do in a larger role.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News provides some excellent details regarding Ward's recruitment. He apparently scared off some potential suitors by asking for a deal similar to what Jacobs received. And Vacchiano said Ward also brought up Michael Turner's contract with the Falcons.