Bucs pursuing Ward

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The Bucs are now officially in the running for free-agent running back Derrick Ward. He reportedly will make a visit to Tampa on Tuesday.

It's believed the Bucs have had an interest in Ward all along, but were a little concerned about his initial asking price. But Ward, who is concluding a visit to Denver on Sunday, may not be getting the kind of initial offers he was hoping for.

Ward would be a nice fit for the Bucs, who don't have much depth in their backfield. After releasing Warrick Dunn, the Bucs have only one sure thing. That's starter Earnest Graham, who has dealt with some injury issues. The Bucs clearly need another starting-quality running back.

Tampa Bay also has Cadillac Williams, but he is recovering from his second major knee injury in two years and no one knows for sure when he'll be ready or if he can be the player he was before the injuries. The Bucs also want to take a look at Clifton Smith, who made the Pro Bowl as a return man in his rookie season, as a running back. But Smith's lack of size means he probably can be a third-down back, at best.