Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Derrick Ward sent packing

Hope you didn't draft Derrick Ward this year.

At least not if you figured he'd be a factor with the Tampa Bay Bucs, who cut Ward on Tuesday, one year after signing him to a four-year, $17.5 million contract. It's also two years after he rushed for more than 1,000 yards with the New York Giants.

The writing was on the wall for Ward, who failed to impress last year or this preseason and whose release will only cost the Bucs about $3 million this year. He was outplayed in 2010 by Kareem Huggins, a 24-year-old Hofstra product who didn't get a carry last year as a rookie with the Bucs but who should be Cadillac Williams' backup on Week 1. And if you know anything about Caddy's injury history, you know that Huggins is just a snapped tendon away from being Tampa Bay's starting tailback. Both Williams and Huggins should be moved up on your draft board accordingly.

As for Ward, I suppose he's still worth keeping tabs on, depending on where he ends up, as the season progresses. Granted, he's 30 and came to Bucs camp out of shape ... but Ward doesn't have a lot of mileage on him for a back his age after spending much of his career as a practice-squad player/third-stringer. He proved what he can do as a change-of-pace back when paired with Brandon Jacobs in '07. I could see him being a fantasy factor later this season if he lands in the right situation, but for now he's not worth a roster spot in all but the deepest of leagues.

Photo by The Associated Press

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