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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.
Tom Rock of Newsday explains that Danny Ware will replace Bradshaw as the No. 3 running back.