Oft-injured Derrick Ward re-signed with the Giants on Friday after a season in which he was part of a group of running backs who did an outstanding job in replacing Tiki Barber and helped New York win the Super Bowl.
Ward rushed for 602 yards and three touchdowns before a broken left leg ended his season in December. He shared the halfback spot with Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw and Reuben Droughns.
An unrestricted free agent, Ward tested the market but decided to stay.
"The Giants gave me my start," he said. "It feels good to come back to hopefully have a good year this year and be a part of the Super Bowl champion Giants. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish my career here."
Ward moved into the starting lineup in the second game of the season after Jacobs sprained a knee in the season opener against Dallas. He started five of eight games before ankle and groin injuries sidelined him.
VIKINGS SIGN POPE: Derrick Pope signed a one-year contract Friday with the Vikings, leaving the Miami Dolphins and joining a Minnesota team looking to add depth at linebacker. Pope is entering his fifth season in the league. He will be the fourth linebacker on the depth chart, behind starters Ben Leber, E.J. Henderson and Chad Greenway. Pope started a career-high nine games for the Dolphins last season. His role with the Vikings will include plenty of work on special teams.
RAIDERS SIGN JOSEPH: The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent defensive tackle William Joseph on Friday, adding a former first-round pick whose career has been plagued by injuries. Joseph missed all of last season for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants with a back injury.
LIONS SIGN KELLY: The Lions released safety Kenoy Kennedy on Friday and signed cornerback Brian Kelly to a three-year deal. Kennedy, an eight-year veteran, spent the past three seasons in Detroit. Kelly spent his first 11 seasons in Tampa Bay.
DOLPHINS SIGN JONES: Former Dallas cornerback Nathan Jones signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins on Friday, bolstering their special teams. Jones has 26 tackles on special teams in his four-year career. He has made only one start at cornerback but played extensively as a reserve last year, when he had 29 tackles and one sack. Miami earlier signed Keith Davis, another special teams standout in Dallas, and kicker Dave Rayner.
BENGALS SIGN UTECHT: Tight end Ben Utecht signed an offer sheet with the Cincinnati Bengals for a three-year contract. The fourth-year pro is a restricted free agent from the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts can keep him by matching the Bengals' offer within a week.