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: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:29 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:28 am

Ward Valuable In Other Ways

Whether or not Ward's numbers will earn him a ballot in 5 years, he certainly has been one of the most valuable players on his team for years.  I do agree that he has lost a step recently, but I see a value in Ward that might be worth considering for Steelers' brass.  I think he would be a first rate Wide Receivers coach for the Steelers, or somewhere within the Steelers organization.  I had a lengthy argument with a fellow a while back and to Facesmashers credit, he pointed out things about Ward that I either had not considered or simply didn't want to consider.  In addition to having watched Ward for years, I subsequently read a ton on his career, his personal life etc... and I can honestly say that I respect him more now than I ever have.  I never thought he had the numbers to get into the Hall, but who knows, he may.  The intangibles are almost as valuable as his career numbers on the field. 

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:26 am

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

i hate hines ward, but if he's willing to take a pay cut to reflect his reduced role, they should bring him back...

Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:08 am

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

This headline is bogus and so is the writer.  Nothing has been decided concerning Ward, and this BS writer basically said the same thing, yet he posts that Ward won't return in the headline to draw people into to a non information story.  I hope CBS doesn't pay him for garbage like this.

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:06 am

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Ward is a Hall of Fame wide receiver, but he has nothing left to offer.  Never the fastest receiver he can almost be covered by linebackers now, and while he can still block not many teams are looking for a blocking WR.  I suppose he could become a sure handed punt returner, but that position is better reserved for a young prospect rather than an aging vet.  It would be nice to see him land a role with the organization, but as a player his days are over.  I guess he will take the perp walk around the league hoping there is a team looking for an aging vet to act as a role model, but it would be nice to see a consummate pro like him acknowledge he's lost a step and hang them up.  In the end he will be remembered for his sure handed catches in traffic, bone crushing blocks, and tearful locker room speaches.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:00 am

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Pittsburgh really needs to offer him a restructured contract. The guy is a solid teammate and an overall good guy. 

Since: Jan 1, 2010
Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:53 am

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

First ballot HOF!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or