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Blog Entry

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:33 am
Edited on: February 11, 2012 8:22 pm
 
Ward

By Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED 8:21 p.m. ET: According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Steelers sources are saying that no decision has been made regarding Hines Ward and his future.

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We already knew big changes were coming to the Steelers, whether Ben Roethlisberger wants it or not. Former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is out; former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley is in as the man who will run Pittsburgh’s offense. And we wonder how much power Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin really has.

Now, it seems like a distinct possibility that one of the organization’s all-time great receivers won’t return for 2012.

That’s according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, who said Friday that with all the contract and salary cap maneuvering the front office is doing, Ward’s $4 million salary and declining productivity might be too much bear and that he won't be back in Pittsburgh next season.

Already, Ward has said he will not retire and that he’d be willing to take a paycut with the Steelers because he wants to stay in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
"I'd probably have to restructure my contract," Ward said last month. "That's fine with me. I recognize that. I'm telling you I want to be here, I'm telling you I'm willing to do that. And I understand the ramifications -- we have the cap number and stuff, but I want to be here."

Even with his reduced role in the Steelers offense -- Ward lost his starting position to Antonio Brown -- the team means so much to him that he’s willing to return for less money and less playing time.

"I'm just looking year to year, but I do want to play next year,” Ward said. “If they decide to part ways, I'll be devastated, but life's not over. I'm still young.

"My thing is, I want to be a Steeler, I'm here, I'm willing to restructure, do whatever. I don't want to be seen in another uniform but, if they decide to part ways, or whatever, I don't know, I'm not even thinking like that. I couldn't even fathom myself [in another uniform], but I still want to play football.”

Look for something to happen with Ward soon. If he’s still on the Steelers roster on March 1, he’s guaranteed to earn his 2012 salary. It’s seeming more likely, though, that if Ward wants to continue his illustrious career, he’ll have to do so somewhere other than Pittsburgh.

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Comments

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2012 11:35 am
 

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

The Steelers should give Ward a 1 million dollar final year contract and make him the captain of special teams.  Ward would still be good on kickoff and punt coverage, and be the 4th WR when needed.



Since: Feb 12, 2012
Posted on: February 12, 2012 11:19 am
 

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Please find a way Rooney-there is something to be said for loyalty.



Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:23 am
 

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

It would be a sad day if the Steelers did cut Ward, but you only have so many years in the NFL.  It would be nice to see someone the caliber of Ward leave on his own terms.  He is Canton bound, there is no doubt.

But if they did cut him loose, I hope he would retire and come back as a coach and mentor to the young WRs the Steelers have.  It just wouldn't look right seeing him in another jersey.  It would be like seeing Montana in a Chiefs jersey or Franco in a Seahawks jersey.

I am sure with the class the Rooney family has, they will do the right thing to the Steelers' all-time receiving leader.   




Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:19 am
 

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Hines Ward has had a helluva career as a wide receiver in this league.  Hall of Famer...I doubt it, but he did play mean, aggressive and violent football for a wide receiver.  Not the biggest, not the strongest, not the fastest but certainly one of the gutsiest.  I'm no Steeler fan, but Ward has been one of the faces of the Steelers for the better part of a decade.  I hope he comes back as a Steeler, even at a reduced role..love to see him retire in black & yellow.




Since: Feb 12, 2012
Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:13 am
 

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Wards numbers are pretty good for playing for a team who is centered around the run, he is 18th all-time in recieving yards and 8th all-time in catches and lets not forget that he would've broke Jerry Rice's record for most consecutive games with a catch had Ray Lewis not speared him and gave him a concussion. He might not be first ballot but he will definitely get there.



Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:12 am
 

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Maybe he should just retire after all! I figured this was coming!



Since: May 22, 2008
Posted on: February 12, 2012 7:29 am
 

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Ward is a has-been cheap shot artist who should just go away. This should be a good year for all other AFC North defenses, with Haley running the offense for the Squeelers



Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 12, 2012 7:05 am
 

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

I'm not a Steelers fan, but have very much admired Ward's versalilty and athleticism over the years.  It was much the same way when he was at Georgia, give him a position to play and he was able to do it.  It seems that it is the curse of star players as they get into their thrities to be shed by the teams they've always played for.   Few seem to have the luxury of playing for the same team for their entire careers, save those who retire just as they've reached their peak.


DawgMeat
Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2012 6:39 am
This comment has been removed.

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robmcm2334
Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: February 12, 2012 5:15 am
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