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

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.


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’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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Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: February 12, 2012 3:08 am

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

This has happen to all of the "great" or "not so great" players throughout the NFL,so what makes Ward any different? Now you know that it's bad when Emmitt Smith,Jerry Rice,Joe Montana,along with some other greats have either been cut,or released. "Real-Talk!", it will look weird to see Ward in a different suit other than the "Black and Gold",but from what was said above in the article's going to happen.

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:41 pm

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Perfect example of the ones who don't know when to hang 'em up. Hines has had a good career, so why not ride into the sunset now instead of hanging on?

Since: May 26, 2010
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:31 pm

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

With all the Steelers fans posts on this thread, it makes me wonder if they all share the same brain?? Discuss..

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2012 9:47 pm

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Never been fond of the Steelers but Hines Ward has always been one of my all time favorites because of the way he played the game and conduted himself. Once again he has impressed me with this move. This is an example why the Steelers organization has been successful. They create a lot of loyalty.

Since: Feb 20, 2009
Posted on: February 11, 2012 9:31 pm

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

What an ignorant jerk. I hope that you get judged one day without jury or trial; maybe just string you up to in a tree like they did in the good old South -- You deserve it.

Since: Dec 13, 2009
Posted on: February 11, 2012 9:21 pm

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

I despise Hines Ward, but he's had a good career.  He's certainly lost a step.  It would be a pretty classless move to cut him given his willingness to change his contract.  But we alreay know they're classless since they kept the rapist. 

Since: Sep 10, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:20 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 5:53 pm

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Ward is a washed up criminal..... It is about time the Squeelers clean up their image.  Big Bad Ben should be next on the list to go.
I agree that Ward best days are in the past, but he is no criminal for the only law he broke is DUI. Now Big Ben was only accused a crime by a woman that was drunk or close to it, Just because your accused of a crime don't make youu guilty.

Pittsburgh has no QB on their roster that could replace big Ben, before you get rid of a player you should replace that player with someone better not worse.

Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2012 5:48 pm

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Bringdanoise, first you say you were actually arguing against stats but in your 2nd paragraph you say ''it's not like he lit up the stat sheet season after season''. Well, which way are you going here. Hines has the career stats and he has all the intangibles that are not in the box score. Also, maybe it's your inclusion of Eric Moulds in HOF talk ahead of Hines that is getting the negative comments. I see you're a Bills fan and Andre Reed does deserve a look, but Moulds jeesh! As far as fantasy football goes, no Hines was not an elite player. But reality football he was. There were 31 other teams that would of loved to have him. Ex-Ravens head coach Brian Billick once said about Hines ''I hate him but I would love to have him on my team!''  All this talk will be meaningless as Hines will probably be back at a reduced salary.



Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: February 11, 2012 3:12 pm

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

I was actually arguing AGAINST stats. Saying talent should hold more weight than mere numbers. How efficient someone is should matter more than the overall end result. Barry Sanders put all those numbers up in what 9 seasons? Emmitt and Walter played much longer and only barely beat him. Hines has been productive forever, but there are countless WRs who have played in the past 15 seasons who were/are better. The problem with most of them is they had a 4-5 season window of dominance before or after averaging out..
The thing FOR Hines is his consistency, the thing AGAINST Hines is his ceiling of productivity. It's not like he lit up the stat sheet season after season.. To be honest he only really had 2-3 great seasons.
So let's see. Elite talent? No. HOF Stats? Yea, at least imo. Did he gain these stats in an efficient/short manner? No.. Emmitt's stats are cheapened a bit by the amount of time he played, same goes for Hines.
If he gets in it's not the end of the world. But it will open the door for lesser talent to get in, at least at the WR position.

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