Former New York Giants running back Derrick Ward spent a miserable season-plus in Tampa Bay after opting to leave the Giants as a free agent after the 2008 season.
Following a 2008 season in which he and Brandon Jacobs became only the fourth duo of running backs to each rush for 1,000 yards in a season, Ward signed with the Buccaneers as a free agent.
The Giants had shown interest in bringing back Ward only at a price much lower than the four-year, $17 million deal — with $6 million guaranteed — Tampa offered.
Ward never saw the last three years of that deal, as he was cut by the Bucs at the end of August after one disappointing season in which he rushed for only 409 yards and scored just three touchdowns for a 3-13 team.
“It was tough to see him that way because he’s a great back and he’s been through a lot of trials and tribulations lately,” Jacobs said of Ward’s season in Tampa. “He’s going to come through it. He just has to hang in there and show people he can still play football.”
Ward, who signed a veteran-minimum deal with Houston four days after Tampa cut him, did just that this past week against the Raiders when he rushed 12 times for 80 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown after breaking a pair of tackles. It was his best game since he rushed for 215 yards in the Giants’ overtime victory over the Panthers in Week 16 two seasons ago.
Giants fans remember Ward fondly, and appreciate what he did in New York. They just don’t want to see him do it against them. Have success, but against somebody else. Please!