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Hines Ward says he’s not thinking about retiring

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Last year there was talk late in the season that Steelers receiver Hines Ward might be thinking of calling it quits. Ward decided to come back for 2011, but this year he’s been largely phased out of the Pittsburgh passing game. So does that mean he’s thinking that Saturday could be his final game at Heinz Field?

No.

“I have two years left on my contract,” Ward said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m not even thinking that this is my last one.”

But whether Ward is thinking about it or not, the Steelers might make that decision and cut Ward during the offseason. After all, Ward didn’t have a single pass thrown his way on Monday night, and over the last seven games he has a total of 11 catches for 67 yards. There aren’t too many jobs available for 36-year-old fifth receivers who don’t contribute on special teams, and that’s what Ward is going to be this offseason.

Ward knows that the decision about whether to keep playing for the Steelers won’t just be up to him.

“If the organization decides to, I have no control over that. But, for me, I’m not even thinking this is my last game ever [at Heinz Field],” Ward said. “I feel fine. I feel like I can play another year or two if I want to.”

The organization has done it before: Franco Harris ran for 11,950 yards with the Steelers before finishing his career in Seattle, where he gained 170 more yards in one final season. Could Ward follow the same path, and maybe sign with a team like the Cardinals, where he’d be reunited with Ken Whisenhunt?

“I don’t know,” Ward said. “That hasn’t even crossed my mind. If they cut me, it’s on them. I don’t want to be cut, I don’t want to play for another team, but I haven’t thought of the possibility of that even happening. It’s happened to lot of guys. Franco did it when he was here. I don’t want to play for anybody else. We’ll deal with that when the time comes. Right now, it’s not even in my mind to think what happens — am I going to be here, is this my last game? I don’t think like that, I’ve never thought like that.”

Ward may have no choice but to start thinking about that after the season.

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43 Responses to “Hines Ward says he’s not thinking about retiring”
  1. billinva says: Dec 23, 2011 8:59 AM

    But he is considering his next cheap shot.

  2. djteknision1200 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:01 AM

    Well he should be thinking about retirement.

  3. angrycorgi says: Dec 23, 2011 9:02 AM

    He ought to…he’s slow and now that he’s not allowed to take cheap shots on players after the whistle, he’s pretty much worthless.

  4. richabbs says: Dec 23, 2011 9:03 AM

    He should be thinking about it.

  5. jc1958cool says: Dec 23, 2011 9:04 AM

    i thought he already was! i guess if you can cheap shot, you get off the bench

  6. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Dec 23, 2011 9:06 AM

    Brett Favre never thought about it either. Save your legacy and walk away.

  7. AlanSaysYo says: Dec 23, 2011 9:07 AM

    I assume he’ll end up in Arizona, where old Steelers go to die.

  8. kokoskmr says: Dec 23, 2011 9:14 AM

    I think Ward has already played his last game at Heinz Field.

  9. opbilly says: Dec 23, 2011 9:15 AM

    why would he. he makes a lot of money and doesnt have to do anything for it. wait…sounds like the congress

  10. burgh1979 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:17 AM

    Listen to all you little girls whining about legal blocks from a wide reciever…hilarious.

  11. j972 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:20 AM

    God, do I admire ward. He’s not like that eveil Brett Favre.

  12. nflofficeadmin says: Dec 23, 2011 9:20 AM

    Mr. Rooney feels differently.

  13. jjackwagon says: Dec 23, 2011 9:28 AM

    What Whines Hard is still in the league?

  14. johnnyjagfan says: Dec 23, 2011 9:28 AM

    If the Steelers make a run and he gets another ring, I hope he takes a cue from Bettis and walks off a Champion. He’d be better for it. Its like politics a little, you can serve 18 years and get beat and no one back home honors you for the 18 years–you’re just a loser. You retire before a big election? You’re on the speaking circuit and have buildings named after you.

  15. flabtreesports says: Dec 23, 2011 9:32 AM

    Happy trails, pal. Try to keep the Hinesmobile between the mustard and the mayonnaise.

  16. ziggy26 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:51 AM

    Ward takes more cheap shots than he dishes out. He originally earned his roster spot based on being a high-effort special teams player. He worked his rear-end off throughout his career. He’s caught nearly 1,000 passes for over 12,000 yards. He takes pride in being a blocker, and plays as hard on running plays as he does on passing plays.

    Usually offensive players are the only one’s who have to keep their head on a swivel, but Ward flips the script on them. He’s a wide receiver with a strong safety mentality.

    If you’re going to criticize Ward, then honestly, football’s not the right sport for you.

  17. heyzeus143 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:52 AM

    if they win the SB somehow, he retires

  18. fittytuckin says: Dec 23, 2011 10:06 AM

    Unless he moves to fullback, he needs to sit his old ass down somewhere.

  19. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 23, 2011 10:10 AM

    Uh, he SHOULD. He was done before last year. He’s useless to PIT now, as this year proved. No one else wants him. He’s washed up.

  20. carnboys says: Dec 23, 2011 10:15 AM

    Smiley THE CHEAP SHOT KID needs to retire. Give those young receivers playing time.
    At least they show some class.

    sign
    Raven Fan
    .

  21. bozosforall says: Dec 23, 2011 10:31 AM

    He makes 9 catches next week for the Steelers to get to 1000 and then announces his retirement.

    Kudos to a great career, Hines.

  22. naanunaanu says: Dec 23, 2011 10:31 AM

    There’s a saying in the army ” if you stay an extra year for the good times they never come”

    With that said I would have love to have seen him in a ravens uniform 4 years ago dude was one of the reasons afc north had street cred. I seen him and ray ray getting in to a shoving match at their hof ceremony

  23. ravensruleandharbaughisgod says: Dec 23, 2011 10:48 AM

    He shoulda, coulda been a dancer!

  24. ahostiletakeover says: Dec 23, 2011 10:59 AM

    Its obvious that even Cotchery has passed Ward at this point in the season. With Wallace, Brown, Sander, and Heath Miller, don’t see much use for Ward after this season.

  25. sbs9101314304043 says: Dec 23, 2011 11:00 AM

    I believe he should retire. Get him his 9 catches and off to the booth for Hines.

    As for the Cheap shot comments, since when did playing hard nose football constitute cheap shots. Except for the Ravens, all you other fans are used to The flag football games we see on Sunday. Watch the next Steelers/Ravens game and see how football should be played.

  26. greenbayraven says: Dec 23, 2011 11:01 AM

    I cant stand Hines Ward…………….would have loved to see him as a Raven. Hes clutch and tough.

    Ravens Fan

  27. jeepin08 says: Dec 23, 2011 11:10 AM

    He hasn’t been the same since Ray Lewis layed the wood on him.
    Plus, he still got to deal with that DUI thing. So after retirement, he will have plenty of time to tilt the bottle while reflecting on Rays hit.

  28. shotgunformation5wide says: Dec 23, 2011 11:13 AM

    Even though he’s a receiver …. his Blocking is what will be missed most.

  29. mikeypanic says: Dec 23, 2011 11:16 AM

    steeler envy in full force as usual.

  30. jtm12180 says: Dec 23, 2011 11:18 AM

    It’s laughable how much haterade people are drinking on this thread. Every d*** one of you know good & well that you’d LOVE to have a player like Hines Ward on your team. 100% team player, never takes a play off, never whined when it came time for a new contract, etc. He plays till the whistle on EVERY SINGLE PLAY, and is a hard hitting fearless receiver, unlike some of the wussies you see that step out of bounds so they don’t break a nail, instead of getting that extra 1-2 yards for their team.

    How many WR’s have you ever seen that actually like contact and hard hits, yet has missed so few games like Ward has over the years. Most of the haters on here are probably Baltimore. Ravens fans, me and you are just alike. We both LOVE our teams, who are hard-hitting physical teams. If we weren’t in the same division, we wouldn’t have half the hate for each other’s teams!

    So, all of you…take your heads out of your a**es for a minute, clean the haterade lines off your upper lips, and just admit that the guy is a hall of fame WR that every one of you would love to have on your team!

  31. steelcurtainn says: Dec 23, 2011 11:40 AM

    Its fun to see the haters on this board. We all know you wish you had a guy like Hines Ward on your team for his entire career. The Steelers should let Hines Finish out his contract next year and then he should call it quits. Its truly amazing what he has accomplished in the Black and Gold. This guy is definitely going to the HOF.
    If he gets his reps in the playoffs, he will perform like he always does, catching balls and LIGHTEN defenders up!

  32. qj1984 says: Dec 23, 2011 12:05 PM

    Oh, the irony. Ward took a shot at the Ravens after their black Monday cuts. Saying “some teams feel like they have to go out and get younger to win”. The Ravens actually did Mason, McGahee, Heap and Gregg a favor by cutting them. They allowed them to go be productive else where.

    The Steelers are getting younger at wr and are leaving Ward to rot on the bench. I don’t know Mason personally but I am fairly certain he would have rather his path go the way that it did, rather than rot on the Ravens bench.

  33. edisbetterthantroy says: Dec 23, 2011 12:15 PM

    “Another year or two”?!?!?!

    Is he serious? I wish myself the best of luck at hearing something funnier than this all day.

  34. pskotte says: Dec 23, 2011 12:29 PM

    To all the “cheap shot” apologists: he didn’t get his rep out of nowhere. Yes, he did make legal plays but he sill earned his title of “dirtiest player in the NFL” according to a poll of his peers last year. Explain that away.

  35. td40 says: Dec 23, 2011 12:32 PM

    Sounds like some of the older Steelers players are starting to think of themselves over their team. Ben Roethlisberger feels the need to keep up his tough guy image by playing on a fubar ankle- never mind he cost his team a victory this past week because he was too hobbled to be out there. James Harrison proves nearly every week that his goal is to hurt players instead of merely stopping them- but he has no remorse- ’cause it’s all about him- not the team.

    Now Ward is becoming Brett Favre. It doesn’t matter if he slides down to 4th receiver, has lost a few steps, and probably has a better, faster WR on the bench behind him. Nope, forget about the good of the team. It’s all about Ward now.

  36. runtheball says: Dec 23, 2011 12:38 PM

    Hey Wines, Kevin Colbert wants to see you, bring your playbook.

    Cut him and bring him back for the minimum as your 5th receiver.

    Could eventually get into the HOF, but there are guys far better than him still waiting.

  37. vincentbojackson says: Dec 23, 2011 12:46 PM

    The reason future hall of famers get cut or decide to move on is usually because they refuse to accept a diminished roll. Ward not only accepted it but helps teach the guys that moved ahead of him. He’s always been a possession receiver so talk of his lack of speed is amusing. Ward will play one more year in his current roll and walk into the hall.

  38. whirlingdervish2012 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:51 PM

    The only reason he is # 5 is because the Steelers have so many great receivers, he’d be #1 on the Ravens.

  39. mewp05 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:58 PM

    @greenbayraven
    you say you can’t stand him but would love to see him as a raven? typical fan who can’t separate emotion from reality. the fact is he IS clutch and tough plus a whole lot more! so are you saying you can’t stand him because of his toughness and being clutch or just because he’s not a Ratbird? hey I would love ray, Suggs, Ed Reed, and Ngata in black and gold. but I also respect them and admire their talent despite being a raven. stop being wushu washy and choose how you really feel.

  40. podevil says: Dec 23, 2011 2:13 PM

    I love it when you haters say Hines has lost a step…When has Hines ever out run anyone in his career..His lack of playing time now has been because they have gone to more of a passing game and the younger faster players are taking over.. Hines has always been a very big part of the running game and has made a very good career of being the best blocking receiver in the business.. and his blocking has helped the Steelers throughout the years… Dirty..I don’t know about that..but I do know that any defensive back or linebacker has to keep his head on a swivel, when Hines is on the field…Even Ray Lewis…

  41. steelernation1 says: Dec 23, 2011 2:35 PM

    to all the folks who call him a cheap shot?i would be willing to bet that you can count on just one hand how many times he has been fined and or got penalties for your so called cheap shots.you guys keep calling that but i been watching him play in the league since he started his career as a steeler and to be honest i never once seen a cheap shot from him
    he is what you call a hard working receiver who knows how to play the game and block better than any receiver in football present and past.hate all you want but he is a tough S.O.B.

    on a side note.should he retire na.if he dont get a ring.talk to the owners take a pay cut and finish out the contract with the steelers if he is that serious about not wanting to go anywhere else

  42. madeline2009 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:15 PM

    Cheap Shot? I say what a man. Yep! You know a man on the football field and watch his life and you just wish there were more of them,

    He okays like a football should play, just tough enough but aware. If the other kids can’t yake it, find another sport. Or go play tennis.

  43. george3246 says: Dec 24, 2011 8:54 PM

    Knowledgeable fans and team leaders from each and every NFL franchise have noticed the effort, skill, savvy and heart that Hines has displayed throughout his career.

    Along the way, he completely obliterated every receiving record set by Steeler legends, Swann and Stallworth while giving the league weekly lessons on down field blocking techniques.

    He did the latter so well, the league changed rules to satisfy the cry babies that couldn’t understand why Hines’ “peel off” blocks were basic football fundamentals performed to perfection. And when he got clocked by an opposing defender, he would jump up smiling through his face mask.

    Btw, that’s why his peers on offense and defense throughout the league recognized and respected his play as a football player..

    And that’s why Hines Ward will be first ballot cinch for Canton.

    Personally, I’m hoping that he gets to finish his B&G player contract and then gets hired as receivers coach as a Steeler for life.

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