Daily Archives: February 12, 2012

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Ward: ‘I Want To Be Here, I Want To Play’

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The back-and-forth in the Hines Ward Saga stepped up quickly after a report yesterday suggesting Hines Ward will be released.

This time, it's Ward denying any knowledge of the alleged imminent release, as well as the team's denial of such a stance, as reported here by the Post-Gazette.

Ward wrote on his Facebook page, "I don't normally like to respond to rumors, but as I've said all along, I want to finish my career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And as I've already told the organization, I am willing to work with them to restructure my contract to make sure this happens."

P-G reporter Ed Bouchette quoted Ward from Feb. 2 saying "I just wanted to let them know I want to be here, I want to play. I have two years on my contact. I know I have to restructure, but, under the circumstances, I think I can still play football."

Ward has two years left on his contract, and his owed $ 4 million in each of those seasons. The question isn't whether Ward is willing to restructure the contract, it's the extent to which he'd be ok with that contract being restructured.

The team has said no decision on Ward has been made yet, and there are still 29 days until the start of the league's 2012 season. If Ward is to be released, it would be before that date. Ward has claimed a clause in his contract says the Steelers must make a decision on Ward being on their roster by March 1.

The Steelers are already reported to have saved $ 18 million against the salary cap by releasing CB Bryant McFadden and WR Arnaz Battle, and restructuring the deals of OLB LaMarr Woodley, CB Ike Taylor and ILB Lawrence Timmons. All three received extensions last season.

Brian McIntyre of Football Outsiders and editor of Mac's Football Blog reports Ward has a $ 4.61 million cap number in 2012. Releasing him would save the Steelers an additional $ 3.39 million against the cap.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Steelers Deny They Have Decided Any Fate on WR Ward

The plot appears to be be thickening between the rumors that the Steelers have or are on the verge of dumping veteran wide out Hines Ward.

Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network stated yesterday that the Steelers have decided to dump Ward, who is the all-time leading Steeler in terms of yards for a WR as well as catches and TD’s.

Today it appears that the story has changed. Somewhat.

The Post-Gazette is reporting that the team hasn’t made any decision to dump Ward, and haven’t talked to him about not coming back.

If the Steelers have decided to release Hines Ward, it is news to Ward — and maybe even the Steelers.

The NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora, who also works for NFL.com, wrote that, according to his sources, “Ward won’t be back.”

A source close to Ward, however, said no one from the Steelers has indicated to him that the team plans to release him. Also, Steelers sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that no decision has been made regarding Ward’s future with the team.

Ward, who could not be reached for comment, issued a statement on his Facebook page after the NFL report:

“I don’t normally like to respond to rumors, but as I’ve said all along, I want to finish my career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And as I’ve already told the organization, I am willing to work with them to restructure my contract to make sure this happens.”

Ward will turn 36 on March 8th, and despite last season not being a big factor at all in the Steelers pass game, who knows if that will change in 2012 now with a new OC in Todd Haley.

It sounds like no decision has been made, and if the Steelers are smart about it, they will redo his deal, and keep the best WR in team history around for another season.

Source: Steelers Gab


Pittsburgh “power struggle” puts even more pressure on Haley

Steelers fans don’t like it when media members not headquartered in Pittsburgh point out the inherent awkwardness surrounding the clumsy, short-lived “retirement” of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and the somewhat surprising hiring of new offensive coordinator Todd Haley. It’ll be interesting to see how they respond to Joe Starkey’s take from Sunday’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review regarding…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers


Starkey: Steelers’ power struggle fascinates

The Steelers' clumsy coordinator shuffle clearly was aimed at making one man a lot less comfortable. That is what makes this drama so compelling.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Ward goes on offensive in bid to remain a Steeler

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"I don't normally like to respond to rumors, but as I've said all along, I want to finish my career with the Pittsburgh Steelers," Ward wrote on his Facebook page yesterday. "And as I've already told the organization, I am willing to work with them to restructure my contract to make sure this happens."

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Taylor restructures contract, gives Steelers more cap room

The Steelers got more salary-cap relief when cornerback Ike Taylor agreed to restructure the contract he signed before the 2011 season.

Source: post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL


Ward Not Expected to Return for the Steelers

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Hines Ward has been saying from day one that he wants to retire as a member of the Steelers.

It’s sounding more and more like he’s not going to get the chance.

The record setting wide out for the Steelers, and Super Bowl XL MVP is on the verge of being with the team no longer according to Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com.

La Canfora cites unnamed sources in its report concerning the veteran receiver.

As the Steelers work to restructure contracts and manuever below the salary cap, the circumstances are dictating the twilight of Ward’s 14-year career. On the books, he has one year and $ 4 million left on his current contract. On the field, Ward also took a backseat to youngsters Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, posting his lowest receiving totals since his rookie season in 1998.

The Steelers have adjusted the contracts of CB Ike Taylor and linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley. They might not be done, as La Canfora suggested S Troy Polamalu ($ 6.25 million next season) and QB Ben Roethlisberger ($ 11.6) could be next.

Ward has left the window open to playing elsewhere next season, but the choice might not be his if he can’t work out his own restructured deal.

There’s no doubt that there’s going to be a lot of backlash at the team if Ward does end up getting released, and Steelers fans might as well get ready for it if the reports from LaCanfora are indeed true.

Source: Steelers Gab

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Brett Keisel’s Shear The Beard 2012

Defensive End Brett Keisel teamed up with Children's Hospital to raise money for cancer research while Steelers players and coaches all took part in shaving Keisel's now infamous beard.

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos

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Decision on Ward not required by March 1

On Friday, Jason La Canfora reported that the Steelers won’t be keeping receiver Hines Ward.  On Saturday, Ward said he won’t be retiring. Thereafter, ESPN.com claimed that a clause in Ward’s contract requires a decision to be made by March 1.  A source with knowledge of the contract tells PFT that’s simply not true. The…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers


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