As we prepare to close our poor little laptop, after a long day in which I feel like I wrote an 800-page novel, I had one final thought on Derrick Ward. It was a bit surprising, to say the least, that the Bengals were one of five teams to offer Ward a deal. We concretely learned that the Bengals and Lions were "in the mix", likely meaning that both teams were the front runners for Ward.
What kind of concerns us, is that it doesn't appear other teams are actively interested. Even the original five teams mentioned above, have teetered away. The Lions, being in the mix and all, denied being talks with the running back. The Buccaneers, the second of the original five teams interested, say they're "not interested" at the moment. Those two teams, and the Bengals, were mentioned as battling for Ward, by the New York Daily News. The Denver Broncos, the third team of the original five, quickly signed Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington. The St. Louis Rams were the fourth team and they already have a feature back (does Ward want to go back to the same system he had in New York for less pay?). The Bengals round out the original five, and he's coming to Cincinnati over the weekend. Hint, hint.
The point I'm trying to make is that it seems other teams are shying away from Ward. Why? Is it projected investment not returning equal value? It would seem to us that he's having the same issue that Houshmandzadeh had on Thursday; rejected by the lack of big-time offers.
Now, I'm not trying to say that Ward is a bad target for the Bengals. We need a running back. He's there. However, the observation is there.
One final thing that's not being considered, is Ward's option to return to New York.
Mike Garafolo, of The Star-Ledger, reports free-agent RB Derrick Ward said the New York Giants are still an option for him to re-sign with. He said they have left the door open for him to return and he knows they would love to have him back. He said right now it is a business decision and he believes he can be a starter in the league.