The New York Giants have officially re-signed one of the core members of their defense from the 2022 season. Veteran run-stuffer Jihad Ward signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract to remain with Big Blue, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic.
Giants re-sign Jihad Ward
Ward started 11 games on the Giants’ defense last season and played in all 17. In Wink Martindale’s defensive scheme, Ward plays on the edge, defending the run and occasionally contributing as a pass-rusher.
The Giants signed Ward last offseason to reunite him with Martindale. The two worked together for the Ravens in 2020 when Martindale was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore. In 2022, Ward served as a quality depth piece and a veteran leader in the Giants’ locker room.
This past season, Ward totaled three sacks, 43 combined tackles, and a career-high 13 quarterback hits. His solid performance earned him a slight raise as the $1.5 million contract Ward signed exceeds the value of the Veteran Salary Benefit contract ($1.2 million) that he signed last offseason.
Entering the 2023 season, Ward will continue to provide the Giants with quality depth on the edge. As a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker, Ward’s primary role is to set the edge and clog rushing lanes.
Ward is a 6-foot-5, 287-pound run-stopper entering his ninth season in the NFL. At 28 years old, Ward is one of the oldest players on the Giants’ youthful defense. But Ward proved in 2022 that he is still a capable player for the Giants. He will maintain his role as a run-stopping rotational edge rusher for the New York Giants in 2023.