Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Top 10 worst free agency signings in team history

Chris Baker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Chris Baker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
6 of 11
Derrick Ward, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images) /

Number 6: Derrick Ward – RB (2009)

As a member of the “Earth Wind &Fire” backfield along with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw of the New York Giants, Derrick Ward became a 1,000-yard rusher in 2008. In 2009 when he signed with the Buccaneers for a four-year contract worth $17 million, Ward came crashing back down to Earth, was gone like a gust of Wind, and resembled more of a dumpster Fire during his one season in Tampa. Suffice to say, in 2009 there was not much dancing in September.

Sorry about that. That ended up going a little far but couldn’t resist.

In all seriousness though, the Ward acquisition was an absolutely colossal disaster from the start for the Buccaneers. After signing his lucrative deal, Ward proceeded to skip OTAs and spend his money. By the time he did report to the team, he was naturally way behind the 8-ball. This inauspicious start resulted in Ward accumulating 409 rushing yards and one touchdown which is dismal. That may be unfair, Ward also added on 20 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Still, there aren’t exactly Marshall Faulk-like numbers. Ward was released at the end of the season, to the surprise and chagrin of very few.