$17M? Not Bad for Pick #235 Overall…
- Updated: March 2, 2009
It’s not every season a 7th round draft pick makes it in the NFL. Many don’t make it a season, let alone multiple. Sticking on a roster is many times an admirable achievement. Signing a four-year $17M deal? More often than not, that’s a pipe dream.
Throw in a dash of collegiate academic problems, off-the-chart stats from an unknown school and getting dropped from the practice squad not long after you’ve been signed your rookie year…and the probability of inking big money, multi-year deals continues to plummet.
Yet, seemingly against all (if not most) odds, Derrick Ward has done just that. The former Giant signed with the Bucs earlier today for a reported $17M over four years. You can debate the merits of the move every which way — and people are certainly doing that already.
But here’s the deal. Nobody knows nothing. Ward has had only two 100+ carry season. He’s never been the man. It hasn’t been asked of him. In 2008, his heaviest load was a 20 carry game against Arizona in week 12. He may hold up for the Bucs. He may even excel. Ward could become a consistent 1,500 yds/season-type guy in Tampa Bay. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least. Likewise, I wouldn’t be shocked if he comes a bit down to Earth quite a bit. We shall see.
Regardless, you’ve got to tip your hat to DW. Not bad for the #235 overall pick in the seventh round of the 2004 draft. Out of Ottawa. Kansas. Not unprecedented, but still impressive. We’re pulling for him...