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Bucs went for cheaper option at tailback

We explained earlier today the realities of having a vested veteran on the roster.  If he’s cut after Week One, his full salary essentially is guaranteed.

In Tampa, we’re told (which means that we have at least one source, so please don’t call or e-mail us to confirm it) that the Bucs didn’t want to pay running back Derrick Ward the $3.25 million base salary he was due to earn this year.  With Ward earning only one start in 2009 and gaining only 409 yards, the Bucs decided to rely instead on undrafted free agent Kareem Huggins.

That said, we’re also told (i.e., at least one source) that the Bucs didn’t ask Ward to take a pay cut in order to stick around.  So the situation apparently runs deeper that money.

There are whispers that Ward has changed since gaining 1,025 yards in 2008 with the Giants and then jumping to Tampa as a free agent.  We’ve heard (i.e., at least one source) that he was a great teammate when a member of the Giants, and that he has been more difficult to get along with during his one-year-plus in Tampa.

Playing for a losing team after not getting the kind of financial offer he surely envisioned in free agency could be contributing to any actual change in personality, if the whispers are accurate.  Either way, he now has a clean slate and a chance to play for another team.

Heck, maybe he’ll even rejoin Earth and Fire in New York.

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24 Responses to “Bucs went for cheaper option at tailback”
  1. FinFan68 says: Aug 31, 2010 2:33 PM

    They went for the cheaper option, and the better option as well.

  2. MotorCityKitties says: Aug 31, 2010 2:44 PM

    Ward for 3.2 million? No thanks, easy decision.

  3. ZombieRevolution says: Aug 31, 2010 2:47 PM

    “We’ve heard (i.e., at least one source) that he was a great teammate when a member of the Giants, and that he has been more difficult to get along with during his one-year-plus in Tampa.”
    You have to love calling someone’s character into question and not needing to prove that the source is qualified or unbiased enough to provide accurate information.
    Wise was not as far off as people assume. Steve Smith on line 1 for you Mr. Florio….

  4. zam says: Aug 31, 2010 2:54 PM

    Going from the super bowl Giants to the super amateur Bucs was probably a huge shock. Being surrounded by such an unprofessional organization would make anyone’s morale crumble.

  5. lleesman725 says: Aug 31, 2010 2:58 PM

    Why does every single Tampa column you write have to do with money?
    If you didn’t have your head so far jammed in the Favre sage or the Saints, you would realize they went with the better option.
    Sometimes you drive me so insane that I must check this website frequently. Maybe its a great marketing ploy?

  6. Jack Acid says: Aug 31, 2010 3:01 PM

    Why do I have a feeling Morris won’t survive the next influx of good coaching candidates?
    Too early for this guy to be a HC.

  7. shannscott2000 says: Aug 31, 2010 3:06 PM

    zam says:
    August 31, 2010 2:54 PM
    Going from the super bowl Giants to the super amateur Bucs was probably a huge shock. Being surrounded by such an unprofessional organization would make anyone’s morale crumble.
    ————————————————–
    Your mom would make my moreale crumble! BURN!

  8. Slow Joe says: Aug 31, 2010 3:09 PM

    Kareem Huggins was just better. That was it. Regardless of pay. This was an easy decision.

  9. Mangy66 says: Aug 31, 2010 3:10 PM

    Love how you’re paranoid about sources…especially after your little Tatum Bell to the Redskins blog post you created out of nothing.
    Never forget…this IS a blog…and you ARE the Perez Hilton of Football.

  10. DailyRich says: Aug 31, 2010 3:12 PM

    Wow, never miss a chance to claim the Bucs are cheap, huh? Ward has been on the verge of getting cut the entire pre-season due to his performance, not his money. He’s been getting outplayed by Kareem Huggins — an undrafted free agent who’s averaging 5.1 yards a carry to Ward’s 2.4 — and he hasn’t shown anything since he came to Tampa. That we’re off the hook for his salary is a bonus, not the reason.

  11. dean11 says: Aug 31, 2010 3:23 PM

    bottom line Ward sucked w/out Jacobs,he is not a #1 back! plus he’s fat!

  12. Gator-Buc says: Aug 31, 2010 3:24 PM

    Jack Acid, what does this have to do with Rah? It was the right choice, as others have mentioned.

  13. rusH1023 says: Aug 31, 2010 3:52 PM

    Jack Acid says:
    Why do I have a feeling Morris won’t survive the next influx of good coaching candidates?
    Too early for this guy to be a HC.
    ______________________
    Because you’re a parrot?

  14. petro says: Aug 31, 2010 3:53 PM

    Doesn’t matter. Bad team with no fans coming to watch this year and coupled with an ownership group up to their eye balls in debt equals a 1st overall pick in 2011.

  15. Bigbluefan says: Aug 31, 2010 4:04 PM

    Could his change be from going from the penthouse to the outhouse
    From 82,000 fans to a place that does not even have seats in one endzone
    From first to worst
    hard to have a winning mind set when you play in tampa bay
    bucks and sucks rhymes is there a reason for that?

  16. The Lord says: Aug 31, 2010 4:05 PM

    The Rams will have the first pick in 2011, not the Bucs. The Bucs will have a top five pick though.

  17. AbeFreshly says: Aug 31, 2010 4:18 PM

    “Heck, maybe he’ll even rejoin Earth and Fire in New York.”
    You’re dating yourself again, Florio. Most of the people on this blog will not ‘get’ that reference. They will merely read over it, then say to themselves:”???!”
    You already know that, yet you added it anyway. Why do you do that, Mysterious-Boy?

  18. Pier588 says: Aug 31, 2010 4:38 PM

    BigCluelessFan with his head up his A$$ –
    “From 82,000 fans to a place that does not even have seats in one endzone”
    Last week at Jesse James Stadium (home of the Bucs), the end zone seats were still in place at both ends of the field. What stadium are you referring to or is this just another case of your cluelessness?
    “BigBlue” also rhymes with “clue” as in “clueless” and the reason for that is it is descriptive of what your lame comments amount to.

  19. kingaling says: Aug 31, 2010 4:38 PM

    The Bucs should cut Mark Dominik!! This ass clown goes out and pays 25 million for Michael Clayton and another 17 on Ward’s sorry ass! Great talent evaluation Mr. Dominik!!!!

  20. ckualii says: Aug 31, 2010 5:39 PM

    That’s the beauty of cutting Ward now and likely cutting Clayton prior to the season; they won’t be paying $25m and $17m. You should be cut from civilization for being a moron.

  21. ckualii says: Aug 31, 2010 5:40 PM

    He’s also they guy who found Stroughter in the 7th round last year and stole Mike Williams in the 4th round this year. You’re the ass clown

  22. kingaling says: Aug 31, 2010 7:14 PM

    Clayton’s 3 million dollar salary this year is fully guaranteed.

  23. Buccaboo says: Aug 31, 2010 8:14 PM

    The Bucs have kept Kareem Huggins under the radar on purpose. With Cadillac’s injury history, this kid could end up being the #1 RB in Tampa and he deserves it. He is slippery and tough and everyone will know who he is soon. He’s also good for a mid round pick in your Fantasy League! Jump on the train, not the bandwagon.

  24. ckualii says: Sep 1, 2010 10:12 AM

    He will still collect far less than the $25m you were bitching about if cut this year. Moron

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