On Wednesday, I posted a video, and a little article about Derrick Ward being interested in playing for the Broncos. Well, according to Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post, the feeling between Ward and the Broncos is mutual. Apparently the Broncos have Ward high on their free agency priority list, and are ready to make a heavy run at him.
But there is doubt, and there are questions surrounding Ward.
The doubt in a lot of spectators minds is basically this... Ward is 29 years old, and the Broncos made a mistake in the past, with a high priced free agent RB, in Travis Henry.
Let me shut both of those statements down right now.
Ward is a 29 year old RB with a total of 342 carries up to this point in his career. Adrian Peterson had about 20 more than that, this year alone. And if you look at a football player at 29 years old(Outside of a RB that has been starting his entire career), you're looking at a football player that is in his prime. 29 years old, with little-to-no wear and tear is not a problem. The Broncos could easily get at least 5 years of service out of him. In fact, I've made the bold statement elsewhere that if Ward signs with the Broncos, I'm going to predict him having at least 3 1,500 all purpose yard seasons, and at least one pro bowl appearance.
And as far as Henry, that was Shanahan's mistake. Not only that, but Henry had a past history of run-ins with the law. He was a "buyer beware" free agent prospect in 2007, and the Broncos took a chance on him. It didn't pay off, but if it had, you could bet that the Broncos would have seen the playoffs this year, and Mike Shanahan would still be the coach of the Denver Broncos. However, that's getting off topic. The fact of the matter is, Ward has a clean past. And McDaniels is not Shanahan. Shanahan's mistake should not reflect in any way on McDaniels. Bowlen put the franchise of the Denver Broncos in the hands of McDaniels and Xanders. Therefore, Bowlen should allow, and fully trust any move that McDaniels and Xanders want to make.
The main question surrounding Ward is his price tag, and that's the only question. There is an undoubted amount of talent left in him, and a ton of gas left in the tank. If the Broncos really want this man, they'll have to pay. And the question lies on whether or not they want to pay. What it really comes down to is, is Ward worth the $4 million a year he's asking for? But, if Xanders and McDaniels feel that Ward is the best definite fit for the Broncos at runningback(Which seems apparent), then I fully believe that Bowlen will allow them to access the checkbook, give Ward his money, and watch him perform at a productive level in orange and blue for the next several years.