Tag: Pittsburgh Steelers

Hines Ward Has No Other Choice But To Retire

Hines Ward crying during his press conference in which he announced his retirement.

About a month after being released from the Pittsburgh Steelers, wide receiver Hines Ward despite announcing that he still wanted to play football, announced today that he plans to retire.

“I just wouldn’t feel right,” Ward said. “I can say I’m a Steeler for life and that’s the bottom line, that’s all I’ve really ever wanted.”

Since being drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1998, the only team that Hines Ward has been on was Pittsburgh. Ward played 14 seasons with the black and yellow Pittsburgh Steelers and won two Super Bowls with the team as well as several awards including being the leader in Steelers career records for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

However on February 29th, 2012 Hines Ward was released.

“We had a conversation today with Hines Ward and informed him that we plan to release him of his contract prior to the start of the 2012 NFL calendar year,” Rooney told Ward back in February. “Hines has been an integral part of our success since we drafted him in 1998, and we will forever be grateful for what he has helped us achieve.”

Though, despite taking in that very detonating news, Ward still felt that he had some more football left in him as he told reporters that he was still ready to play.

“I do feel that I still have more football left in me and I am looking forward to playing in the NFL, again, this upcoming season,” Ward said.

However, just about a month later (today), Hines Ward despite still having the same mindset that he could still play, announced that he’s going to retire.

“I feel like I have a few more good years in me left,” Ward said. “I would love nothing more to get back to the Super Bowl.”

Though he could only get back there with one team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I want my legacy here to say, you know what he was one hell of a football player who gave it his all,” Ward said. “I’m truly blessed. I played in three Super Bowls, won two Super Bowls, was Super Bowl MVP … what more could a player want out of his entire football career?”

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Pittsburgh Steelers Release Hines Ward: The Teams Reaction As Well As What Player May Be Next

Hines Ward as always been known as a Steeler, though come this 2012-13 NFL season he may be known as someone else.

Since being drafted in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, wide receiver Hines Ward has always been black-and-gold. Since 2001 when Ward had his first 1,000 yard season catching 94 balls for 1,003 yards and 4 touchdowns. Since 2001 when Ward went to his first Pro Bowl. Since 2006 when Ward went to his first Super Bowl, where he would not only win his first Super Bowl but his first Super Bowl M.V.P. Since 2009 when Ward won his second Super Bowl. Since it all, Ward has been through it all, through the ups and the downs, Hines Ward has seen it all, all as a Pittsburgh Steeler.

Though come Wednesday, February 29th Hines Ward would see something that he never saw coming, and that was a phone call from Steelers owner Dan Rooney saying that he was going to be released.

“We had a conversation today with Hines Ward and informed him that we plan to release him of his contract prior to the start of the 2012 NFL calendar year,” Rooney said. “Hines has been an integral part of our success since we drafted him in 1998, and we will forever be grateful for what he has helped us achieve.”

Ward was the Steelers all time leader in just about every notable receiving category for the teams franchise as he owns the career records for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

“This isn’t how I wanted this chapter of my career to end,” Ward said in a statement. “I did everything in my power to remain a Steeler and finish what I started here 14 years ago.”

Everything in his power, however according The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who cited an unnamed source, reported that the Steelers didn’t approach Ward about taking a pay cut to remain on the team.

As for Ward’s teammates they feel the same pain.

“Hines is black-and-gold,” Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I see him and wonder what it’ll be like for me late in my career, things like that. It’s hard. Two of my favorite players growing up, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, they’re still 49ers. Hines will always be a Steeler.”

Roethlisberger who began playing with Ward in 2004 after being taken with the 11th pick that year also told the newspaper that he left Ward a message on his cell phone “letting him know, ‘Thank you for everything.’ ”

Ward is coming off of a second career low season (only his rookie season was lower) as he only caught 46 passes for 381 yards and 2 touchdowns though despite being released he still has plans of playing.

“I do feel that I still have more football left in me and I am looking forward to playing in the NFL, again, this upcoming season,” Ward said.

“I gave my heart and soul for (the fans) every down and I will always bleed black and gold,” Ward said.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also said that the Steelers may consider releasing long time great line backer, James Farrior as well.

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