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View Full Version : Hines Ward Unlikely to be back with Steelers?



toddjammin
02-10-2012, 08:16 PM
Jason La Confora on NFL Network said his sources tell him that Hines Ward is unlikely to be back with the Steelers.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-10-2012, 08:26 PM
If we release him I bet he is a Patriot next season.

SteelerOfDeVille
02-10-2012, 08:35 PM
That would hurt - I might cry with ya, Hines!

NW Steeler
02-10-2012, 08:47 PM
I cant see how they couldn't work something out with Hines if he truly wants to retire as a Steeler. Dude is an icon.

feltdizz
02-10-2012, 08:59 PM
Hines is an icon and so is Aaron Smith but this is a young man's game.

SteelBucks
02-10-2012, 09:01 PM
We'll find out soon. His roster bonus is due in March.

Steelers>NFL
02-10-2012, 09:13 PM
That would hurt - I might cry with ya, Hines!


Oh, I WILL CRY!!!

Shoe
02-10-2012, 09:40 PM
If we release him I bet he is a Patriot next season.

Hines has always represented himself as a true Steeler, from the fan PoV. I doubt he would do something like that to his fans, or himself.

I don't think he's an option for them, the Ravens, the Bungles... the Stains are so irrelevant that he could go there, and still be beloved IMO. :)

williar
02-10-2012, 09:42 PM
Now THAT'S serious.... I was hoping Hines would hang on for a little longer. His football character so contagious. I guess even the great ones have to move on too.

Now, when is Aaron Smith going to announce his retirement. I mean, I like Aaron but he should have beat Chris Hoke to the podium. If Hines has to go then the entire geritol bunch need to go......

steelfin
02-10-2012, 11:27 PM
It will be a sad day if Hines is forced to play for another team...

I am sure he runs faster than Heath Miller...and nobody is telling him to hit the road...

I know our WR corp is competitive, but who knows how it will shake out. Cotchery may not be resigned and Wallace may leave as well....

Hines can still find the holes in the defense and he brings a physical nature to the offense that the other receivers dont.

I say he should stay if he is willing to take a home town discount...at least another year.

DrCalculus
02-10-2012, 11:31 PM
Cutting him now doesn't exactly mean they wouldn't re-sign him for vet minimum later, especially if they lose Wallace & Cotchery.

And if they do decide not to keep him on, I can't see him signing with the Patriots --- he is one of the most vocal vets with regard to the Pats cheating with videotaping. And there is no way I can see him with a division foe --- too many players on those teams simply hate him for laying them out so often.

I could see him going back to his college roots and signing with the Falcons --- they need a veteran possession type, might lose Harry Douglas, decent QB, playoff caliber. Or N'awlins if they lose Colston and/or Meachem, they'll need a veteran guy to move the chains on 3rd down.

PSU_dropout43
02-11-2012, 01:36 AM
http://www.blackbachelor.com/t1/cel8.jpg

flippy
02-11-2012, 02:37 AM
I still think he has tremendous value, especially in the red zone. The 2 areas where he still excels is his blocking and running picks to get other WRs/TEs open.

If the Steelers don't want him, I could see a bunch of teams interested in him. Especially the run heavy teams like Denver, Houston, Carolina, etc.

Or any team with a young QB or young WRs.

I don't think Hines has dropped off as much as many think. He never had speed. He didn't have a step to lose. I think it's a misnomer.

He did have ankle surgery this offseason. Wonder if he was hurt more than his play dropped off.

I bet a lot more teams would be interested just for the intangibles he brings to the table. And you gotta figure his work ethic would rub off on a team's offense.

feltdizz
02-11-2012, 09:27 AM
Hines has lost a step... he wasn't 40 yards dash fast but he had decent game time speed.

Hines was always faster than Heath, not sure why that was brought up.

chiken
02-11-2012, 09:39 AM
Hines MAY not have lost a step but last year he lost his Will to really compete on every play. I think taking that back seat to the youngsters really took more out of him than he lets on. I dont know why some of us are so gung ho about bringing him back when it was so obvious that A) the effort is no longer their or b) the guy just cant get open aka find the hole any more.

If another team promises Ward a starter job or more significant minutes I believe he will sign and his play will pick up.. He cant get that here.

D Rock
02-11-2012, 10:58 AM
I don't mind if he leaves...and retires. I will absolutely hate to see him in a different jersey though.

phillyesq
02-11-2012, 12:37 PM
I don't mind if he leaves...and retires. I will absolutely hate to see him in a different jersey though.

:Agree

SteelStallion
02-11-2012, 02:37 PM
My thing with Ward is I see a guy who can't defend himself on the football field against the vicious hits that come his way because of his past reputation. He's gonna get seriously hurt out there and he needs to retire, not reduced roll but retire.

pittpete
02-11-2012, 02:39 PM
Report: Steelers plan to cut Hines Ward

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... hines-ward (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/42273/report-steelers-plan-to-cut-hines-ward)

SteelBucks
02-11-2012, 03:13 PM
Report: Steelers plan to cut Hines Ward

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... hines-ward (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/42273/report-steelers-plan-to-cut-hines-ward)

Well if this is true, I hope Hines decides to retire. It was hard and little strange seeing Franco in a Seahawks jersey and Webster in a KC uniform.

rpmpit
02-11-2012, 03:46 PM
From Hines Facebook:

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. - HINES

SteelBucks
02-11-2012, 04:01 PM
Sorry, for some reason I can't C&P the site's text....

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/steelers-have-yet-to-inform-ward-of-his-status-but-right-move-is-to-release-him-and-move-on/46695/

Vindrow
02-11-2012, 04:40 PM
Jason La Confora on NFL Network said his sources tell him that Hines Ward is unlikely to be back with the Steelers.

This guy is wrong more times than Miss Cleo.

I'll believe it when it comes from the FO.

hawaiiansteel
02-11-2012, 08:02 PM
Report: Steelers won't keep Hines Ward

ESPN.com news services
February 11, 2012


The Pittsburgh Steelers, with a Hines Ward roster-bonus deadline fast approaching, have decided not to keep the veteran receiver, the NFL Network has reported, citing unnamed sources.

Ward, who lost his starting job in 2011, was scheduled to make $4 million in the last two years of his contract but has said he was willing to take a pay cut.

"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 posted.

Ward posted on his Facebook page Saturday that he's already told the Steelers he's willing to work with them on altering his deal so he can remain with the team.

A decision is required by March 1 to satisfy a clause in his contract.

"I plan on playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers and going from there," Ward said Thursday during Super Bowl week.

Speaking at the media center in Indianapolis, Ward called reports about his possible retirement "rumors," reiterating he wants to play next season.

Asked if he wanted to play three, four or five more years, the 35-year-old Ward laughed and said, "I don't know about that long."

Ward, who turns 36 next month, became the eighth player in league history to reach 1,000 career receptions in the regular-season finale against Cleveland. He and Jerry Rice are the only players in league history to reach 1,000 receptions and win multiple Super Bowls.

Yet Ward's role within the offense diminished as Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders passed him on the depth chart and Mike Wallace became a Pro Bowler.

The 2006 Super Bowl MVP did not catch a pass in the Steelers' 29-23 overtime loss to Denver in the wild card round, the first time in Ward's career he was held without a reception in a postseason game. His future is one of several questions that will need to be addressed during what's already been an active offseason for one of the league's most stable franchises.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was not offered a new contract and spent just over a week unemployed before taking the same position with the Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers hired former Kansas City head coach Todd Haley to replace Arians, though Haley didn't mention Ward's name at all during an introductory press conference on Thursday.

The Steelers will look for receiver depth after releasing veteran Arnaz Battle this week and the possible departure of Jerricho Cotchery, who will be an unrestricted free agent. Pittsburgh has just four receivers under contract for 2012, including Ward.

Wallace, Brown and Sanders have spoken at length about Ward's leadership and all want his No. 86 to be on the field next season.

"He sets the tone in the room," Brown said of Ward. "We definitely want to help a guy like him win."

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/75649 ... eport-says (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7564969/pittsburgh-steelers-plan-keep-hines-ward-report-says)

fordfixer
02-12-2012, 02:37 AM
WR Ward willing to restructure deal with Steelers
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... elers-ward (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AvOSTeMZFSkGAGBQWOEJbMBDubYF?slug=ap-steelers-ward)
By WILL GRAVES,

PITTSBURGH (AP)—Steelers’ wide receiver Hines Ward wants to retire with the Pittsburgh Steelers, offering to restructure his contract to do it.

Ward posted on his Facebook page Saturday that he’s already told the Steelers he’s willing to work with them on altering his deal so he can remain with the team. Ward’s comments came after NFL.com reported the Steelers are planning to cut the franchise’s all-time leading receiver.

“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 posted.

The 14-year veteran is scheduled to make $4 million in 2012. He’s coming off a season in which he finished with 46 receptions for 381 yards and two touchdowns, the lowest totals in each category since he was a rookie in 1998.

Ward, who turns 36 next month, became the eighth player in league history to reach 1,000 career receptions in the regular-season finale against Cleveland. He and Jerry Rice are the only players in league history to reach 1,000 receptions and win multiple Super Bowls.

Yet Ward’s role within the offense diminished as Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders passed him on the depth chart and Mike Wallace became a Pro Bowler. Ward pushed aside speculation he would retire after the Steelers’ season ended with a 29-23 overtime loss to Denver in the wild card round.

“No, I’m not even thinking about that,” Ward said at the time.

The 2006 Super Bowl MVP did not catch a pass against the Broncos, the first time in Ward’s career he was held without a reception in a postseason game. His future is one of several questions that will need to be addressed during what’s already been an active offseason for one of the league’s most stable franchises.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was not offered a new contract and spent just over a week unemployed before taking the same position with the Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers hired former Kansas City head coach Todd Haley to replace Arians, though Haley didn’t mention Ward’s name at all during an introductory press conference on Thursday.

The Steelers will look for receiver depth after releasing veteran Arnaz Battle this week and the possible departure of Jerricho Cotchery, who will be an unrestricted free agent. Pittsburgh has just four receivers under contract for 2012, including Ward.

Wallace, Brown and Sanders have spoken at length about Ward’s leadership and all want his No. 86 to be on the field next season.

“He sets the tone in the room,” Brown said of Ward. “We definitely want to help a guy like him win.”

NC Steeler Fan
02-12-2012, 02:21 PM
Report: Steelers plan to cut Hines Ward

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... hines-ward (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/42273/report-steelers-plan-to-cut-hines-ward)

Um, beferreel, this dude covered the ratbirds for 11 years before getting this sports gig.

He's getting his jollies making Steeler fans crazy...

hawaiiansteel
02-12-2012, 03:32 PM
Ward goes on offensive in bid to remain a Steeler

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, February 12, 2012


Hines Ward took a proactive approach Saturday in his bid to return to the Steelers.

He also put the onus on the Steelers in responding to an NFL Network report saying the team won't bring him back next season.

"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."

Ward's representatives have not heard from the Steelers since the report surfaced late Friday, but the team already has restructured the contracts of three high-profile players this offseason to save money against the salary cap. Ward, who turns 36 next month, has two years remaining on a contract that will pay him $4 million per season.

The Steelers, through a spokesman, declined to comment on Ward's status.

The report caught Ward, the team's all-time leading receiver, off guard, though the 14-year veteran has no intention of retiring if the Steelers release him.

It doesn't appear that the organization has made a final decision. Ward's future with the Steelers has been in question since the team's playoff loss in Denver last month.

Ward's playing time and production dropped last season -- his 46 catches and 381 receiving yards were his lowest since his rookie year -- and he lost his starting job to Antonio Brown in mid-November.

The Steelers also have to shed a significant amount of salary; they entered the offseason about $25 million over the salary cap.

The team trimmed a little more than $14 million off that total last week by restructuring the contracts of cornerback Ike Taylor and linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons.

They also saved about $3.5 million in cap space when they released cornerback Bryant McFadden and receiver Arnaz Battle last week.

The Steelers' offseason has been marked by change, but if they cut ties with Ward, it will register as a seismic shift, given his place in the franchise's history.

His popularity is such that, within an hour of posting his statement on Facebook, he had received more than 2,000 responses. By early evening, he had almost twice as many responses and more than 28,000 likes.

Ward, the MVP of Super Bowl XL, holds almost every major Steelers receiving record and is one of only eight players in NFL history with 1,000 career catches.

He is second only to Franco Harris in franchise history with 86 touchdowns.

"He's one of the all-time Steelers," team president Art Rooney II said last month. "Hopefully he's a Hall of Famer. You want it to end the right way whenever it ends, but it's a two-party decision."

The Steelers appear set at the top of their receiver rotation with Brown, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders.

Wallace is a restricted free agent, but Rooney has said that signing the Pro Bowler to a long-term contact is the top priority this offseason.

Rather than keep Ward, the Steelers could opt to retain Jerricho Cotchery, who was productive in limited action last season. He is an unrestricted free agent.

Ward, the longest-tenured Steelers player, has said he thinks he has at least one more productive season left. He has been with the Steelers since 1998, when they took him in the third round of the draft out of Georgia.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1mC4XaZ8D (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_781277.html#ixzz1mC4XaZ8D)

frankthetank1
02-12-2012, 10:34 PM
Hines is an icon and so is Aaron Smith but this is a young man's game.

there is a big difference between hines and smith. smith has had season ending injuries twice in the last few years or so. hines is been pretty healthy the past several years. if it is true that hines will re-structure his contract then why would they cut him? unless he considers re-structering as making 3 mil next season instead of 4 then i can see cutting hines. hines is still better than most #4 wr's in the league and he is a great mentor. they didnt cut bettis so why cut hines? its pretty much the same situation imo. im pretty worried that this report is true. seeing hines play some where else is much worse than seeing rod woodson as a raven, 49er and raider.

papillon
02-12-2012, 10:45 PM
From a business standpoint why would the Steelers restructure Ward? Doesn't that simply mean he still gets paid the money they owe him in salary? If he's to play with the Steelers next year the Steelers will have to cut him and sign him to a vet minimum deal for a 14 year veteran. It doesn't seem to make sense from a business perspective to restructure more money they he's worth.

Just my opinion...if Ward wants to play so bad that he'll play for another team at this point in his career, then so be it, retirement is an admirable option.

Pappy

Starlifter
02-13-2012, 12:59 AM
no way the steelers were gonna pay hines the bonus in march. of course they're going to cut him. this is a business after all. I think his offer to restructure is sincere - but in my opinion it all rides on what cotchery will do. cotchery is unrestricted and i'm certain still thinks he can be a starter. if he gets a chance to do that somewhere else, he's gone and #86 will most likely be back in camp. if he stays, hines will only be in camp if there are no other offers.

for the league minimum, hines is still a great addition to the team. leadership and sure hands in clutch situations. unfortunately he is at the mercy of things beyond his control. would love to see one more year, but not holding my breath.

fordfixer
02-13-2012, 01:11 AM
Ward, Steelers deny his release
Sunday, February 12, 2012
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12043/1209685-66.stm

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."

LaCanfora reported that even if Ward took the NFL minimum "he still wouldn't be worth retaining, because No. 4 receivers have to play special teams."

He wrote that Ward "has one year left on his deal worth $4 million." Actually, Ward has two years left at $4 million each.

Speaking to the Post-Gazette Feb. 2 in Indianapolis, Ward said he had met separately with coach Mike Tomlin and Steelers president Art Rooney after the season ended.

"I just wanted to let them know I want to be here, I want to play," said Ward. "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 said many times that he wants to end his career in Pittsburgh, but he is determined to play somewhere in 2012, even if the Steelers do not want him. Ward, who turns 36 March 8, has played all 14 of his NFL seasons with the Steelers and holds nearly every team receiving record.
Khan stays put

Steelers executive Omar Khan took himself out of the running for the general manager's job with the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams received permission from Steelers president Art Rooney II to speak with Khan last week, but no interview took place as Khan decided to remain in Pittsburgh.

Khan, 35, has been an executive with the Steelers and their chief contract negotiator the past 11 years. He was a finalist for the Seattle Seahawks general manager's job two years ago, and reportedly would be paired as a general manager with Bill Cowher if the former Steelers coach returns to coaching.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12043/12 ... z1mEfkLXbI (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12043/1209685-66.stm#ixzz1mEfkLXbI)

fezziwig
02-13-2012, 12:11 PM
no one is going to snatch up hines for nothing more than the league minimum. hines will only play for the steelers if the steelers want him and i doubt that they do.

ikestops85
02-13-2012, 01:33 PM
no one is going to snatch up hines for nothing more than the league minimum. hines will only play for the steelers if the steelers want him and i doubt that they do.

I disagree. I think the Steelers still want Hines but it's got to be close to the vet minimum. He has a lot more value to the team as a leader than he does as a receiver anymore but that still means a lot. Hines will be in black and gold this year.

aggiebones
02-13-2012, 01:53 PM
The part about the No.4 WR playing STs is kinda correct. I don't see Hones playing alot of STs. But for 1 cheap season, the Steelers and Hones could be happy. Bettis got a farewell season. Its a tough thing to keep doing, but they are cheap and add veteran leadership. Ward can still teach from the field. We have 3 VERY young WRs on the team that need a lead by example guy to keep their heads on straight. Do we want to go get another young WR in the draft to fill his spot? Cotchery could still be the no.4 WR if we sign him too.
But those 4 WRs spend some time in the hot tub, so Ward as WR5, still could get some time as WR3 or 4. I'd have no problem with him coming off the bench as a sub. Playoff time comes and maybe Sanders is out or Wallace (whoever), Ward adds some knowledge and stability...as opposed to some rookie. Gives Wallace, Sanders and Brown another year to learn before Ward rides off in sunset.

fezziwig
02-13-2012, 02:48 PM
do any of you think hines will play for the league minimum ? i tell you, if hines thinks this team is going to the super bowl this 2012 season, he'll sign at the league minimum.
having a new OC might have some affect on this situation too. haley might have a crush on hines and feels he needs to have him. hines on the other hand might think haley will give him the love arians didn't last season.
it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

i still think the steelers would rather have cotchry if, they can work out the deal. i also think they will pay wallace enough to sign him. i wouldn't put the steelers future in jeopardy trying to sign wallace either but, the steelers never really do that either.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-13-2012, 02:53 PM
There is more than one part that needs to work for Ward to return. Unfortunately, the biggest factor is centered around emotions. Of course the Steelers would love to have Ward retire a Steeler. Of course Ward wants to retire a Steeler. But would Ward return for the price the Steelers are willing to pay? Vet min plus his $600,000 bonus? "Ward? I can't see your smile around the pride standing in front of you." Ward said he will take a 2 mil cut...The low ball scenario without a release is over 1 mil apart from what he is willing to do. Release him and save 3.4 mil or pay 1.6 mil guranteed and use a roster spot for 20 catches who doesn't play ST? They get an exemption for I think $500,000 for the vet contract but the "business" side still is hard to like from the Rooney's end.

We all love him....I hope he plays for vet min....But there are some big mountains to get over for it to happen. The Steelers are already stuck in the mud called the salary cap so that doesn't help Hines at all. Add in the fact Wallace is due and he is priority before FA begins. Then the business side...You can get a draftable kid in the $300k-$400k who has his whole career in front of him who can give you the same offensive production and play every snap of ST coverage. That is the hard part from the business side. Retaining Ward doesn't make sense in the state of the Steelers. It is a hard thing to say...But it doesn't. I'm not holding out any hope because of it. If it happens....It will be a blessing. I have already hung my head and thanked him.

No matter what happens...I will be behind the Steelers. We have all watched our heroes say "Thank you!" and move on. They are Steelers 4 life! Just like me...Steeler 4 Life! Sucks to watch the page turn...It is happening in slow motion but it has to happen.

fezziwig
02-13-2012, 02:59 PM
excellent thoughts and post JPN

Oviedo
02-13-2012, 03:21 PM
There is more than one part that needs to work for Ward to return. Unfortunately, the biggest factor is centered around emotions. Of course the Steelers would love to have Ward retire a Steeler. Of course Ward wants to retire a Steeler. But would Ward return for the price the Steelers are willing to pay? Vet min plus his $600,000 bonus? "Ward? I can't see your smile around the pride standing in front of you." Ward said he will take a 2 mil cut...The low ball scenario without a release is over 1 mil apart from what he is willing to do. Release him and save 3.4 mil or pay 1.6 mil guranteed and use a roster spot for 20 catches who doesn't play ST? They get an exemption for I think $500,000 for the vet contract but the "business" side still is hard to like from the Rooney's end.

We all love him....I hope he plays for vet min....But there are some big mountains to get over for it to happen. The Steelers are already stuck in the mud called the salary cap so that doesn't help Hines at all. Add in the fact Wallace is due and he is priority before FA begins. Then the business side...You can get a draftable kid in the $300k-$400k who has his whole career in front of him who can give you the same offensive production and play every snap of ST coverage. That is the hard part from the business side. Retaining Ward doesn't make sense in the state of the Steelers. It is a hard thing to say...But it doesn't. I'm not holding out any hope because of it. If it happens....It will be a blessing. I have already hung my head and thanked him.

No matter what happens...I will be behind the Steelers. We have all watched our heroes say "Thank you!" and move on. They are Steelers 4 life! Just like me...Steeler 4 Life! Sucks to watch the page turn...It is happening in slow motion but it has to happen.

Well said!!!! :Clap :Clap

hawaiiansteel
02-14-2012, 02:00 AM
Steelers undecided on Ward's future

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2012-02-13/0214stward-a.jpg

Difficult decisions loom, as the Steelers work to get in compliance with the salary cap by March 13.

None have been made regarding perhaps the most difficult of them all, which leaves wide receiver Hines Ward's future with the team in question.

"To this current point, no final decisions have been made," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Monday. "We've had several discussions internally."

An NFL Network report surfaced Friday that the Steelers will not bring back Ward, their all-time leading receiver, for a 15th season. Ward wants to retire as a Steeler, and he is willing to restructure a contract that has two years left on it at $4 million per season.

The Steelers have saved around $18 million in salary cap money by restructuring three contracts and making a couple of roster moves. They entered the offseason around $25 million over the cap, a figure that is fluid because teams won't find out until early March what the salary cap's ceiling is for 2012.

Ward has no plans to retire, and his return to the Steelers will be largely dictated by football and not finances.

Ward, who lost his starting job to Antonio Brown last season, turns 36 next month. If the Steelers aren't convinced he can still be a productive player, they are likely to cut ties with one of the most popular players in team history.

"Any player that's been a part of your success, it's very difficult to part ways with," Colbert said, "and the longer a player's been here and the more he's done for the organization, the tougher it is to make those kinds of moves. That's all part of the business."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1mKUjAt00 (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_781408.html#ixzz1mKUjAt00)

fordfixer
02-14-2012, 02:20 AM
Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12045/1210001-87.stm

By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201202/hines5_160.jpg
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
With a Hall of Fame-worthy resume, is it time for HInes Ward to retire?


If it has been said once, it has been said hundreds of times. The Steelers owe Hines Ward. They owe him a job. They owe him an immediate answer about his future. They owe him respect, as if they always haven't given it to him.

I can't say this strongly enough.

The Steelers owe Ward nothing.

Ward gave the team 14 terrific years, a Hall of Fame career that guarantees him a prominent spot in Steelers lore. The team paid him countless millions. Neither side owes the other anything.

You might not like reading this, but it's true:

There is no room in pro sports for sentimentality or loyalty, not when so much money is at stake and the pressure to win is so great.

Unfortunately, Ward's inevitable parting from the Steelers looks as if it will be awkward with hurt feelings for Ward. It happens fairly often in sports. An aging star player thinks he has game left and wants to come back for one more season. The team thinks the player is finished and wants to go in a different direction. How can that story not have an awkward ending?

Ward hasn't helped the situation by being so public about his hopes of playing with the Steelers next season. Most recently, he used his Facebook page Saturday to say he would do just about anything for one more year here, including restructuring his contract and, presumably, taking minimum pay for a veteran player. There is nothing wrong with sharing those thoughts with management, which Ward did after the season with Steelers president Art Rooney II and coach Mike Tomlin. But to do it publicly? It's just so unseemly. It makes Ward look as if he's begging for a job. That's sad.

If Ward thinks he can turn up the pressure on management to bring him back, he's badly mistaken.

The Steelers can't and won't be dissuaded by public sentiment, which figures to be mostly on Ward's side because of his significant contributions to the team over the years. If they bring him back, it will be because they think he still can help them, not because of media and fan pressure. No sports management team should ever make a decision based on such pressure. It has to do what's right for its organization even if the decision is unpopular. If the Steelers decide Ward no longer can play, they have to release him. It won't be personal. It will be business.

Ward has been around long enough to know the difference. He held out of training camp in 2005 to get a new contract. That, also, wasn't personal. It was business.

It works both ways in sports.

Of course, that doesn't mean Ward's ego won't be bruised if the Steelers sever ties with him in the next few days or weeks.

The NFL Network reported over the weekend that Ward won't be back next season. Steelers sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette that a final decision about Ward's future hasn't been made, a position that general manager Kevin Colbert reiterated Monday. I believe both reports. The team still is looking at its roster makeup with an open mind, but Ward almost certainly won't be back.

Based on the limited number of plays the Steelers gave Ward during the second half of last season, it's apparent Tomlin doesn't think he still can play at a high level. It was all the team could do to get Ward his 1,000th catch. He needed 10 with four regular-season games left and still needed five in the final game against the Cleveland Browns. No. 1,000 finally came on a fourth-quarter shovel pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that lost 3 yards.

And some actually are saying the Steelers haven't shown Ward the proper respect? Getting him that 1,000th catch even when it wasn't strategically prudent in a 13-9 win is the ultimate sign of respect. The team fulfilled its final obligation to him that day.

That shovel pass made Ward just the eighth player in NFL history with 1,000 catches. Put that magical number with just about every major receiving record in Steelers history, his ability as one of the greatest blocking wide receivers of all time and his three appearances in Super Bowls, which resulted in two wins for his team and the MVP award of Super Bowl XL. That's Hall of Fame-worthy, no doubt about it. All of us have been lucky to watch him.

But we're talking about today, not the past. The Steelers are committed to their three young wide receivers -- Mike Wallace, team MVP Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Ward will be no better than No. 4 on the depth chart if the team somehow decides to bring him back. The fourth wide receiver has to be able to play special teams. Ward isn't going to do that.

But, clearly, Ward wants to keep playing. If the Steelers cut him, he isn't likely to retire unless no other team wants him. You might not like seeing him in another uniform -- just as you didn't like seeing Hall of Famers Franco Harris and Mike Webster in other uniforms -- but so what? It's not your career. It's Ward's. He has to do what is right for him if he's released.

Just as the Steelers have to do what is right for the team.
Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com. Ron Cook can be heard on the "Vinnie and Cook" show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan. More articles by this author
First published on February 14, 2012 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12045/12 ... z1mKnJ1fSY (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12045/1210001-87.stm#ixzz1mKnJ1fSY)

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
02-14-2012, 11:53 AM
I think that the decision has already been made. There is no room on the roster for HW. He is the #4 at best and does not play ST. The only thing that he would bring is veteran presence and injury insurance. These are luxuries that the team cannot afford right now. Cutting him post June 1 saves the full $4M against the cap with a dead money charge of $600K next season.

I don't know how much Cotchery would cost, but if we can bring him back relatively cheap - this is Jerricho Cotchery after all - then we have four receivers here (assuming we get Wallace signed) and draft a fifth in the mid rounds.

hawaiiansteel
02-14-2012, 01:43 PM
Kovacevic: Steelers disrespecting Ward

By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, February 13, 2012


Just to get this on the record: I won't complain if the Steelers release Hines Ward, given his performance last season, the three young receivers ahead of him and that he'll turn 36 next month. I also won't complain if the Steelers keep Ward by securing a huge pay cut from the $4 million he's due in 2012.

These aren't easy calls for the front office, but either would be the right call from the football standpoint.

If only someone can find the fortitude to make it.

And make it The Steelers Way.

Remember that?

Goes something like this ...

Player X — let's call him Franco Harris, Greg Lloyd, Levon Kirkland or Joey Porter — looks to have reached the finish line.

Coach Y — let's call him Chuck Noll or Bill Cowher — addresses that player respectfully but forthrightly: Thanks for everything. It's time to part ways.

Team Z elsewhere might give that player a chance, or the player might choose to retire. Either way, the Steelers move on. And, just as important, they maintain their reputation for being first-class in these affairs.

So how to explain the classless way they're treating Ward?

The day after the playoff loss in Denver, Mike Tomlin declined to address the Ward topic, unless you count, "We love Hines." There was no commitment nor a timetable to establish one. And that's no stunner. When I asked Tomlin about Ward's demotion in November, Tomlin abruptly ended the interview. He's been hypersensitive to this for months.

Team president Art Rooney II did address Ward in his end-of-season meeting with reporters, saying, "You want it to end the right way whenever it ends, but it's a two-party decision. We'll evaluate how we feel about it over the next few weeks."

That at least was something, if only a hint that the Steelers might take Ward back if he takes that huge pay cut.

So why, according to Ward's representatives, has there been no formal contact from the team in the month and change since season's end?

And, way, way above that, who from the Steelers could have had the audacity to leak word to NFL Network — with the news broken Friday night by veteran reporter Jason La Canfora — that they don't want Ward back for 2012?

Whoever it was, that person or persons should look Ward in the eye and apologize.

I'm not getting into guessing the source of the leak. Only a handful in the Steelers' upper hierarchy would have hard knowledge of Ward's future, but there's still no way to narrow it down. Or, for that matter, to know if the leak was aimed at pressuring Ward to drop his price to rock bottom.

Again, if that's the goal, fine. The Steelers have big-time cap issues.

But to do it like this?

It wouldn't be the first time for such a tactic: In 2009, La Canfora wrote in an NFL.com chat that the Steelers were considering cutting Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton. That didn't happen, of course. But Hampton was aware of the report and, unlike the previous year, he showed up for training camp in good shape.

If the mission was to motivate Hampton, it was accomplished.

This is different, though. It's not about calories or contracts or other tales that have navigated this particular pipeline.

This is Hines Ward.

This is the franchise's most accomplished receiver, a two-time Super Bowl champion, a heart-and-soul contributor on and off the field. This is someone who, even when reduced to responding to this report through his Facebook account, wrote that he'll accept less money to "make sure" he stays with the Steelers.

He deserves some respect.

If Ward isn't done, if he can still help the receiving corps, if pending free agent Jerricho Cotchery is as unlikely as it appears to re-sign for more duty as a No. 4, then tell Ward as much. Work something out promptly.

If Ward is done, then tell him that sometime soon. Face to face. Man to man.

Used to be The Steelers Way.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1mNLWDuti (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_781346.html#ixzz1mNLWDuti)

RuthlessBurgher
02-14-2012, 02:32 PM
The Steelers have saved around $18 million in salary cap money by restructuring three contracts and making a couple of roster moves. They entered the offseason around $25 million over the cap, a figure that is fluid because teams won't find out until early March what the salary cap's ceiling is for 2012.

Does this part seem kinda dumb to anyone else? Hey teams! You MUST be in compliance with the salary cap by March 13!!! But we aren't going to tell you what that salary cap figure is until early March. So, basically, you'll have only a few days to know for sure what number you have to be below. Good luck with that. :?

fezziwig
02-14-2012, 06:59 PM
I will miss Hine's toughness, his smile and all the good that came along with him. I was watching NFL replay with the Steelers in the Super Bowl and I think it was against the Cardinals where, Hines and Ben were watching the defense on the field in the last 35 seconds with Hines saying to Ben, " I can't look ! " two seconds later Hines picks his head up and said, " No, I gotta look ! "

It was a funny/happy moment from Hines that I will never forget.

steelz09
02-15-2012, 01:10 PM
I kind of have a conspiracy theory about what Ward means to the Steelers. I think Ward is directly responsible for our wins against the Ravens and likewise our division victories.

Ward was one of those guys that set the tone against the Ravens from a "mental" state. I honestly don't think we have a guy like that on our team anymore.

Ward would get underneath the Ravens skin, bigtime. And he would show the Ravens that he and the rest of the team weren't intimidated by their BS. He did it on purpose to get his OWN team fired up... and I think it gave us the mental edge. I truely believe that.

One time in particular rings a bell..... when the first play (i think), Ward gets into it with with their best player, Ed Reed. Grabbing face masks and such... Ward ends up throwing Reed to the ground. You can't say that doesn't get the adrenaline flowing on the Steelers sidelines. Both got a penalty... no harm done. The Ravens were more focus on Ward then they were on our other players. That's how much Ward had an impact. Joey Porter was the same way.

We don't have that mental edge on the Ravens anymore. We have good players but so do the Ravens. We're not as physical as them .. And I don't think we have that mental edge anymore. Harrison, Woodley, and possibly Clark & Polamalu are the most physical.... by far. We are more of a finesse team especially on offense.

We can't control the line of scrimmage on defense like we used to. We definitely can't control the LOS on offense. The Ravens are more physical and they have gained that mental edge over the Steelers. The Steelers used to have it... and Ward was a big part of that mental edge over the Ravens.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-15-2012, 01:39 PM
I kind of have a conspiracy theory about what Ward means to the Steelers. I think Ward is directly responsible for our wins against the Ravens and likewise our division victories.

Ward was one of those guys that set the tone against the Ravens from a "mental" state. I honestly don't think we have a guy like that on our team anymore.

Ward would get underneath the Ravens skin, bigtime. And he would show the Ravens that he and the rest of the team weren't intimidated by their BS. He did it on purpose to get his OWN team fired up... and I think it gave us the mental edge. I truely believe that.

One time in particular rings a bell..... when the first play (i think), Ward gets into it with with their best player, Ed Reed. Grabbing face masks and such... Ward ends up throwing Reed to the ground. You can't say that doesn't get the adrenaline flowing on the Steelers sidelines. Both got a penalty... no harm done. The Ravens were more focus on Ward then they were on our other players. That's how much Ward had an impact. Joey Porter was the same way.

We don't have that mental edge on the Ravens anymore. We have good players but so do the Ravens. We're not as physical as them .. And I don't think we have that mental edge anymore. Harrison, Woodley, and possibly Clark & Polamalu are the most physical.... by far. We are more of a finesse team especially on offense.

We can't control the line of scrimmage on defense like we used to. We definitely can't control the LOS on offense. The Ravens are more physical and they have gained that mental edge over the Steelers. The Steelers used to have it... and Ward was a big part of that mental edge over the Ravens.

I would agree with that as part of it. The defense lost its "swagger" too with age up the middle. The OL was man handling Hampton, Smith, & Farrior over the last 2 years. I think the biggest aspect to the change of the tide is familiarity. There is alot to be said about facing a team 2-3 times a year with the same OC/DC in place. Part one has been taken care of and I expect to see the offense begin to make up some ground on the Ravens D. As far as the D versus the Ravens...DL better start listening to his assistants for input to add some deception to their blitz pages. When they blitz the Ravens it looks like the Ravens borrowed the Pats audio-visual equipment & their lip readers for the game. The Steelers blitz looks like bugs on the winshield when they run into the the OL waiting on them because they saw it on film for the last 8 years.

steelz09
02-15-2012, 01:46 PM
I kind of have a conspiracy theory about what Ward means to the Steelers. I think Ward is directly responsible for our wins against the Ravens and likewise our division victories.

Ward was one of those guys that set the tone against the Ravens from a "mental" state. I honestly don't think we have a guy like that on our team anymore.

Ward would get underneath the Ravens skin, bigtime. And he would show the Ravens that he and the rest of the team weren't intimidated by their BS. He did it on purpose to get his OWN team fired up... and I think it gave us the mental edge. I truely believe that.

One time in particular rings a bell..... when the first play (i think), Ward gets into it with with their best player, Ed Reed. Grabbing face masks and such... Ward ends up throwing Reed to the ground. You can't say that doesn't get the adrenaline flowing on the Steelers sidelines. Both got a penalty... no harm done. The Ravens were more focus on Ward then they were on our other players. That's how much Ward had an impact. Joey Porter was the same way.

We don't have that mental edge on the Ravens anymore. We have good players but so do the Ravens. We're not as physical as them .. And I don't think we have that mental edge anymore. Harrison, Woodley, and possibly Clark & Polamalu are the most physical.... by far. We are more of a finesse team especially on offense.

We can't control the line of scrimmage on defense like we used to. We definitely can't control the LOS on offense. The Ravens are more physical and they have gained that mental edge over the Steelers. The Steelers used to have it... and Ward was a big part of that mental edge over the Ravens.

I would agree with that as part of it. The defense lost its "swagger" too with age up the middle. The OL was man handling Hampton, Smith, & Farrior over the last 2 years. I think the biggest aspect to the change of the tide is familiarity. There is alot to be said about facing a team 2-3 times a year with the same OC/DC in place. Part one has been taken care of and I expect to see the offense begin to make up some ground on the Ravens D. As far as the D versus the Ravens...DL better start listening to his assistants for input to add some deception to their blitz pages. When they blitz the Ravens it looks like the Ravens borrowed the Pats audio-visual equipment & their lip readers for the game. The Steelers blitz looks like bugs on the winshield when they run into the the OL waiting on them because they saw it on film for the last 8 years.

Agreed.... We need to send WAAYYYY to many blitzers to get to the QB. That comes down to winning one on one matchups. Our defense has not been able to win those battles.

Harrison and Woodley sometimes win their 1 on 1 matchups. Polamalu typically wins his 1 on 1 matchup..... but that is about it.

ikestops85
02-15-2012, 02:54 PM
I kind of have a conspiracy theory about what Ward means to the Steelers. I think Ward is directly responsible for our wins against the Ravens and likewise our division victories.

Ward was one of those guys that set the tone against the Ravens from a "mental" state. I honestly don't think we have a guy like that on our team anymore.

Ward would get underneath the Ravens skin, bigtime. And he would show the Ravens that he and the rest of the team weren't intimidated by their BS. He did it on purpose to get his OWN team fired up... and I think it gave us the mental edge. I truely believe that.

One time in particular rings a bell..... when the first play (i think), Ward gets into it with with their best player, Ed Reed. Grabbing face masks and such... Ward ends up throwing Reed to the ground. You can't say that doesn't get the adrenaline flowing on the Steelers sidelines. Both got a penalty... no harm done. The Ravens were more focus on Ward then they were on our other players. That's how much Ward had an impact. Joey Porter was the same way.

We don't have that mental edge on the Ravens anymore. We have good players but so do the Ravens. We're not as physical as them .. And I don't think we have that mental edge anymore. Harrison, Woodley, and possibly Clark & Polamalu are the most physical.... by far. We are more of a finesse team especially on offense.

We can't control the line of scrimmage on defense like we used to. We definitely can't control the LOS on offense. The Ravens are more physical and they have gained that mental edge over the Steelers. The Steelers used to have it... and Ward was a big part of that mental edge over the Ravens.

I never thought about it that way but what you say makes sense. Ward does start off a lot of games against the Ravens being confrontational. More power to him if it's planned. :tt2 :tt2

fezziwig
02-15-2012, 03:40 PM
That is where our team is weak at, the aggressiveness they lack at both fronts. I truly believe the strength of a team is what they can do in the trenches. Get that under your teams belt and all else will work itself out. Except for stupid coaches

Oviedo
02-15-2012, 03:44 PM
That is where our team is weak at, the aggressiveness they lack at both fronts. I truly believe the strength of a team is what they can do in the trenches. Get that under your teams belt and all else will work itself out. Except for stupid coaches


Hence why I hate our 3-4 where our DL are asked to "occupy and impede" versus attack. I want a DL that is attacking the opponents OL and backfield every play.

phillyesq
02-16-2012, 09:57 AM
The latest from Bouchette. No new information:


Ed: Reasons to Keep Ward Thursday, 16 February 2012 07:54 Written by Ed Bouchette Good morning,

Kevin Colbert says this draft is deep in wide receivers and cornerbacks. That is a good thing for his football team. They can concentrate on drafting for their offensive and defensive lines high in the draft and then did deep into that depth and keep finding cornerbacks and wide receivers.

Even though they had one of the best receiving groups in the NFL last season, they need to restock.

Mike Wallace will be a restricted free agent and there's no telling if they will come to an agreement on a long-term contract, and if they do not, he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2013.

Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders will be restricted free agents in 2013 but it's too early to worry about that now because they won't become UFAs until 2014. More of a worry should be Sanders health and his inability to get on the field much last season. He had two foot problems and one knee surgery. The Steelers have to be worried about so many leg/foot injuries to someone so young, especially at that position.

Jerricho Cotchery will be gone, as someone from the Steelers asked me, "Why would he come back?'' Cotchery asked for his release from the Jets after they signed Plaxico Burress; he saw he would no longer be in the top two for them. Remember, there wasn't much of a free agency period last year because of the lockout. Everything was bang-bang, so Cotchery accepted a one-year deal with the Steelers, where he found himself No. 5 for a long time. After they benched Hines Ward, Cotchery rose to No. 3 and helped them with a few key receptions, including the one that tied their playoff game in Denver, a 31-yarder with 3:48 left. The Steelers can't pay Cotchery enough , not with Mike Walllace holding out his hands, and Cotchery does not want to return to be No. 4.

That leaves Hines Ward. With only three coming back and Sanders injury problems and all of them being young money, there are a million reasons Ward should return to play one more season with the Steelers. So what if he doesn't play special teams? Let those other guys play it. You need to sign Ward, if nothing else, as insurance for another injury to Sanders or one of the others. There's' also his hand as a mentor to those three, which should not be undervalued.

They brought Antwaan Randle El back to play for them when the rest of football saw him as a receiver who no longer had anything in the tank. They left room on their roster for an entire year in 2010 for Aaron Smith, even though it was apparent he was not going to heal fast enough to return to play.

This cannot be about money because Ward has said he will take a pay cut and so far no one has asked him or his agent what he would be willing to play for. Now, if he won't take a steep cut from $4 million, that's another issue, but until they ask, they won't know.

If the Steelers could bring back Jerricho Cotchery, then Ward might be expendable. If they could sign another veteran free agent wide receiver to fill that role, same thing. But even if they keep Ward, they have two roster spots open for wide receivers, both rookies if they'd like.

It once appeared that Tyler Grisham was possibily the receiver they wanted to put on the roster to replace Ward. Last month, they let Grisham sign with Denver without making a pitch to keep him after he spent another season on their practice squad.

I like Ward, and he's always been a good interview and willing to talk. I'd like to see him back one more year. But none of that is a reason to bring him back. Take all the emotional issues out of the decision and keeping Hines Ward one more year still makes sense.

-- YOU: Ed,A few days back you wrote a column stating about the overly eventful Steelers offseason. I only see two items in the entire list that are really odd or that can impact the play on the field. The first is Saunders suspension, which as you and Gerry have indicated is probably a ticket out of town. I hope not as I think he really could be a starter eventually for the Steelers. The second is the socially odd interaction between #7 and Haley. How unusual is it that a new OC and QB would not at least exchange pleasantries and especially so from Haley’s standpoint? It seems standoffish and a bit childish, considering that Roethlisberger is an established top 5 QB in the league and in his prime. The OC is the boss, end of story, but this seems peculiar for a guy who has a poor reputation as a people person, what’s to gain? Do you think Bruce Arians has already had a conversation with Peyton Manning….even if Peyton is a question mark, I bet so. I think the Ward situation, Arians firing and all that is just noise that will not impact a single tackle or first down come September.

ME: As I've been saying, it is odd and now appears to be some sort of strategy which I do not understand

steelz09
02-16-2012, 11:28 AM
The latest from Bouchette. No new information:


Ed: Reasons to Keep Ward Thursday, 16 February 2012 07:54 Written by Ed Bouchette Good morning,

Kevin Colbert says this draft is deep in wide receivers and cornerbacks. That is a good thing for his football team. They can concentrate on drafting for their offensive and defensive lines high in the draft and then did deep into that depth and keep finding cornerbacks and wide receivers.

Even though they had one of the best receiving groups in the NFL last season, they need to restock.

Mike Wallace will be a restricted free agent and there's no telling if they will come to an agreement on a long-term contract, and if they do not, he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2013.

Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders will be restricted free agents in 2013 but it's too early to worry about that now because they won't become UFAs until 2014. More of a worry should be Sanders health and his inability to get on the field much last season. He had two foot problems and one knee surgery. The Steelers have to be worried about so many leg/foot injuries to someone so young, especially at that position.

Jerricho Cotchery will be gone, as someone from the Steelers asked me, "Why would he come back?'' Cotchery asked for his release from the Jets after they signed Plaxico Burress; he saw he would no longer be in the top two for them. Remember, there wasn't much of a free agency period last year because of the lockout. Everything was bang-bang, so Cotchery accepted a one-year deal with the Steelers, where he found himself No. 5 for a long time. After they benched Hines Ward, Cotchery rose to No. 3 and helped them with a few key receptions, including the one that tied their playoff game in Denver, a 31-yarder with 3:48 left. The Steelers can't pay Cotchery enough , not with Mike Walllace holding out his hands, and Cotchery does not want to return to be No. 4.

That leaves Hines Ward. With only three coming back and Sanders injury problems and all of them being young money, there are a million reasons Ward should return to play one more season with the Steelers. So what if he doesn't play special teams? Let those other guys play it. You need to sign Ward, if nothing else, as insurance for another injury to Sanders or one of the others. There's' also his hand as a mentor to those three, which should not be undervalued.

They brought Antwaan Randle El back to play for them when the rest of football saw him as a receiver who no longer had anything in the tank. They left room on their roster for an entire year in 2010 for Aaron Smith, even though it was apparent he was not going to heal fast enough to return to play.

This cannot be about money because Ward has said he will take a pay cut and so far no one has asked him or his agent what he would be willing to play for. Now, if he won't take a steep cut from $4 million, that's another issue, but until they ask, they won't know.

If the Steelers could bring back Jerricho Cotchery, then Ward might be expendable. If they could sign another veteran free agent wide receiver to fill that role, same thing. But even if they keep Ward, they have two roster spots open for wide receivers, both rookies if they'd like.

It once appeared that Tyler Grisham was possibily the receiver they wanted to put on the roster to replace Ward. Last month, they let Grisham sign with Denver without making a pitch to keep him after he spent another season on their practice squad.

I like Ward, and he's always been a good interview and willing to talk. I'd like to see him back one more year. But none of that is a reason to bring him back. Take all the emotional issues out of the decision and keeping Hines Ward one more year still makes sense.

-- YOU: Ed,A few days back you wrote a column stating about the overly eventful Steelers offseason. I only see two items in the entire list that are really odd or that can impact the play on the field. The first is Saunders suspension, which as you and Gerry have indicated is probably a ticket out of town. I hope not as I think he really could be a starter eventually for the Steelers. The second is the socially odd interaction between #7 and Haley. How unusual is it that a new OC and QB would not at least exchange pleasantries and especially so from Haley’s standpoint? It seems standoffish and a bit childish, considering that Roethlisberger is an established top 5 QB in the league and in his prime. The OC is the boss, end of story, but this seems peculiar for a guy who has a poor reputation as a people person, what’s to gain? Do you think Bruce Arians has already had a conversation with Peyton Manning….even if Peyton is a question mark, I bet so. I think the Ward situation, Arians firing and all that is just noise that will not impact a single tackle or first down come September.

ME: As I've been saying, it is odd and now appears to be some sort of strategy which I do not understand

I hope they don't release Saunders. He could be a real offensive threat at the TE position for us.

RuthlessBurgher
02-16-2012, 02:27 PM
I hope they don't release Saunders. He could be a real offensive threat at the TE position for us.

The Starkey Q&A thread mentioned that his suspension was for a prescribed A.D.D. medication, so there should be no reason to get rid of him (not a Santonio Holmes or Brian Cushing drug suspension).

Slapstick
02-16-2012, 02:47 PM
If Ward reduces his salary to veteran minimum (as stated on another thread) his cap hit would be $1.5 million...

If he is cut outright, he will count as $1.2 million of dead money vs. the cap...

Is it worth it to cut him to save $300K? One quarter of one percent of the estimated cap?

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-16-2012, 03:56 PM
If Ward reduces his salary to veteran minimum (as stated on another thread) his cap hit would be $1.5 million...

If he is cut outright, he will count as $1.2 million of dead money vs. the cap...

Is it worth it to cut him to save $300K? One quarter of one percent of the estimated cap?

That is presuming he will play for vet min plus his $610,000 bonus. I think that is part of the equation that is forgotten. So if he is willing to play for min...Is he worth the roster spot for $300,000? In my heart I would say yes and even in that scenario I would believe that Mr.Rooney would pat Ward on the back and say, "Let's give it one more Run Son!". That would show such a sacrifice I think the Rooneys would be willing to let the guy go out on his own. Class knows class.

Ward said he is willing to take a 2 mil cut. That would make it a 2.6 mil cap hit and will be guranteed if he is on the roster going into week one. I know that 1 mil doesn't sound like alot but in this case the inflation is because of the production he can provide. 1 mil is alot of money in this case for what he can give back.

Many are against the fence on this. I would be willing if he plays for min. On the other side, I wouldn't be willing at his 2.6 mil. For the higher amount I think you have to consider the roster spot being used up. There is a very good chance he would not get a helmet in the numbers game on gameday in injury situations outside of WR. They wouldn't have the luxury if a DB, LB, RB go down and a ST body was needed. I think that is a very realistic risk that is weighing on their mind.

Just for everyone that is so Pro Ward & won't consider the business side...Just think about this. Nobody plays forever. Everyone has to walk away. Not everyone has that fairy tale last page in their story. We as Steeler fans want everyone of our heroes to have it. Whatever happens...Hines Ward has imprinted himself on everyone of our hearts. NOTHING will tarnish who he is. That being said...If a guy shows up at camp wearing #15 & Smith written across his back...Plays & moves like Ward did in 2011...He wouldn't make it out of camp and that guys salary would be $300,000. The fact that he played all of 2011 here...The Steelers have not cut him yet...They will see what they can work out to try and keep him here...Is a testiment of their dedication to what Ward has meant to this organization. Do not take cutting him as a lack there of.

RuthlessBurgher
02-16-2012, 04:04 PM
If a guy shows up at camp wearing #15

http://www.sportsviews.com/media/files_image/4/user115986/7859e6ddaaa.jpg

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-17-2012, 09:57 AM
If a guy shows up at camp wearing #15

http://www.sportsviews.com/media/files_image/4/user115986/7859e6ddaaa.jpg

There's a LIFER that picked up on it. :Bow If that is your card...You better hang on to it! "Smile" from day 1.

Silenetwolf
02-21-2012, 05:36 PM
I think they may let him go. The reason is due to the fact that Mendehall may miss this season. That leaves Redman(whom I like) pretty much alone. That being said, the Steelers are going to need another RB and they are not cheap.

SteelCitySouth
02-21-2012, 05:45 PM
I think they may let him go. The reason is due to the fact that Mendehall may miss this season. That leaves Redman(whom I like) pretty much alone. That being said, the Steelers are going to need another RB and they are not cheap.

Mmmm...I think they keep him at either Vet min. or just above. We have Redman Moor and clay.

I'd love to see them draft a true FB in the vein of Dan Krieder and get a good lead blocker in there...Love to see Clay follow someone like that.

Silenetwolf
02-21-2012, 06:42 PM
I think they may let him go. The reason is due to the fact that Mendehall may miss this season. That leaves Redman(whom I like) pretty much alone. That being said, the Steelers are going to need another RB and they are not cheap.

Mmmm...I think they keep him at either Vet min. or just above. We have Redman Moor and clay.

I'd love to see them draft a true FB in the vein of Dan Krieder and get a good lead blocker in there...Love to see Clay follow someone like that.
I'm not particularly fond of having Moore as a back up and Clay is young. I will agree that we need a good fullback, even if his role is to block.

SteelCitySouth
02-22-2012, 01:53 PM
I think they may let him go. The reason is due to the fact that Mendehall may miss this season. That leaves Redman(whom I like) pretty much alone. That being said, the Steelers are going to need another RB and they are not cheap.

Mmmm...I think they keep him at either Vet min. or just above. We have Redman Moor and clay.

I'd love to see them draft a true FB in the vein of Dan Krieder and get a good lead blocker in there...Love to see Clay follow someone like that.
I'm not particularly fond of having Moore as a back up and Clay is young. I will agree that we need a good fullback, even if his role is to block.

Ummmmm...Wouldn't anyone drafted be younger than Clay? :wft

I Litterally want the Kreider type...He never wanted the ball, he just wanted to find a hole and hit the guy trying to fill it.