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Hines Ward says he would take a pay cut to stay in Pittsburgh

Hines Ward AP

Hines Ward doesn’t want to retire.  And if the Steelers don’t want him next year, he’ll try to find a job elsewhere.

“It would be weird, not how I want it to happen,” Ward told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But I do want to play. I still think I can play. I’m not even thinking like that — what if. If that scenario happens, I’ll be devastated, but I do want to play football.”

Ward is due $4 million next season. He knows he’ll have to take a pay cut and is willing to do so.

“I want to be here, I’m telling you I’m willing to do that,” Ward said. “And I understand the ramifications — we have the cap number and stuff, but I want to be here.”

The Steelers may be ready to move on. They have their top three out wide: Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders.

Ward’s production fell dramatically this year. He averaged only 8.6 yards-per-catch and didn’t top 400 yards receiving. It was his worst yardage total since he was a rookie in 1998.

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50 Responses to “Hines Ward says he would take a pay cut to stay in Pittsburgh”
  1. nineroutsider says: Jan 11, 2012 12:59 PM

    Good guy, but he is done. Ride off into the sunset and enjoy your life!

  2. jimmysimpson55 says: Jan 11, 2012 12:59 PM

    Give it up Hines. You were great, but it is time to hang them up. Just deal with so you don’t embarrass yourself further.

  3. sojumaster says: Jan 11, 2012 1:00 PM

    A perfect example of the mind is willing, but the body isn’t.

  4. beerbaron says: Jan 11, 2012 1:01 PM

    Hope he’s willing to put those blocking skills to good use on the kickoff team.

  5. 8man says: Jan 11, 2012 1:05 PM

    He may already know that demand for his services will be minimal. And better to take less than get nothing. His personal cost to stay and play in Pittsburgh is minimal. He’s run the numbers. And it’s the right approach.

  6. sudz28 says: Jan 11, 2012 1:10 PM

    It would be GREAT if the Steelers could keep him on for another year, giving him a chance to act as quasi-coach to the newer, younger receivers. I would love to see him retire a Steeler for life and I think he has a lot to offer in the way of mentoring Wallace/Brown/Sanders.

  7. ravensruleandharbaughisgod says: Jan 11, 2012 1:11 PM

    Believe or not, Hines, we would love to see you in Baltimore- you could help coach up our young guys!

  8. steelergold says: Jan 11, 2012 1:11 PM

    One more year ! Hines in any other jersey just wouldn’t be right.

  9. ppc50 says: Jan 11, 2012 1:13 PM

    Since the age of free agency has been in the NFL, it has been sad that players like Jerry Rice, Montana, Emmitt Smith, etc are forced to move on, if they still want to play. In Ward’s case, it would be great if the Steelers would offer him a 1 year deal, at a little over a million, with incentives built in the contract. He has been a very big part of the organization, still can play and block, an injury may come up, and he is a leader in the locker room. Let Ward retire a Steeler.

  10. austrianpanther says: Jan 11, 2012 1:13 PM

    The NFL 2011 season has been dominated by ONE person and his name is Tim Tebow!

  11. adlent says: Jan 11, 2012 1:13 PM

    If he stays, I hope he is content taking less pay AND being the fourth or fifth option.

    The Steelers should do the right thing and let him stay.

  12. wldkat says: Jan 11, 2012 1:16 PM

    Hines bleeds “Black and Gold”. The Rooney’s will do the right thing and let him come back and retire as a Steeler. He is still good enough to be our 4th wide receiver.

  13. suggzz says: Jan 11, 2012 1:16 PM

    As a Baltimore fan, I can say I love and hate this guy. Hate him when he plays against my team, but love him when he plays against everyone else. Great blocker and tough S.O.B.

    To me, Pittsburgh just wouldn’t be the same with out number 86 ‘smiking’ his way down field.

  14. bopar411 says: Jan 11, 2012 1:17 PM

    I hate the Steelers, but they owe it to Hines Ward to keep him if he wants to retire with them. He’s set his pride aside by openly offering to take a pay cut and it is only right that Pittsburgh obliges him. He is one of those guys that’s earned the right to go out with the team he helped to be successful on his watch, IMO.

  15. alltimeballa says: Jan 11, 2012 1:19 PM

    I am a avid Steelers fan but as I looked at Hines a few times on the sideline during the Broncos game, he looks as though he’s done. Would have been nice to send him off with another ring but I just don’t see it….I hope he can prove me wrong.

  16. eddddddd says: Jan 11, 2012 1:19 PM

    As much as I loved watching him play, it’s time to hang it up. Please don’t do a Favre, you had a great career, don’t diminish it by playing longer than you should.

  17. greglloydrules says: Jan 11, 2012 1:20 PM

    A great career, 2 Super Bowls and an MVP, future Hall of Famer. It’s time to call it quits. We’ll miss you but the offense needs to roll and Hines will just slow them down i think.

  18. jgrange08 says: Jan 11, 2012 1:20 PM

    Hang it up, he played under 10 snaps in the game at denver and the steelers really don’t have much use for him

  19. goawayeverybody says: Jan 11, 2012 1:26 PM

    Hines Ward, please learn when to hang it up. C’mon man, don’t be a Brett Favre. Be tall. Take the high road.

  20. steviemo says: Jan 11, 2012 1:35 PM

    He looks done. Fitting if his last year’s average per catch ended up being 8.6 yards, given his jersey number.

  21. nightrain42 says: Jan 11, 2012 1:47 PM

    I think he needs to hang it up and become a wr coach for us. But if he is gonna play, it has be in black and gold. He can b a 4th wr and help guide the young guys. Let’s not forget Wallace slumped badly in the 2nd half of the year. Hines wisdom cld go along ways….plus he’s a Steeler. Can’t put on another uniform.

  22. furnzilla says: Jan 11, 2012 1:51 PM

    He should be willing to take a paycut, his skills have diminished, but he is still able to take cheap shots with remarkable precision

  23. afreak2u says: Jan 11, 2012 1:52 PM

    Oh come on now saying the 2011 season was dominated by teblow try Bree’s , Rodgers are the two best qbs in the league and I am a die hard steelers fan teblow did a great job Sunday but he will fall hard next season

  24. taltphoto63 says: Jan 11, 2012 1:53 PM

    Hines Ward is the consummate football player and deserves to go out on his own terms. The fact that he is willing to take a pay cut in these days where athletes only think of themselves is the definition of the man. He is, and always has been, a team player.
    When the NFL brings in rookies they should have to watch a video of Hines Ward’s career to teach them how to play football and be a role model on and off the field.

  25. tobiasjodter says: Jan 11, 2012 1:53 PM

    adlent says:
    Jan 11, 2012 1:13 PM
    If he stays, I hope he is content taking less pay AND being the fourth or fifth option.
    ——————–

    Exactly. I’d love for him to stay – but not as a #1,2, or 3 WR.

  26. otis52gsh says: Jan 11, 2012 1:56 PM

    Ward had a great career. Do the steelers a favor and hang um up. For Pete’s sake they had to get you your 1000th reception with a shovel pass. Time to go enjoy life. Won’t get any concussions while fishing.

  27. Derty Ernie says: Jan 11, 2012 1:56 PM

    Time to retire you old fart. Ya its fun to just hang around and be on a team that may go to a super bowl and your not helping it get there. What kind of a person hangs on.

  28. jpelle82 says: Jan 11, 2012 2:00 PM

    i would like to see him compete with cotchery for the #4 spot. at least we know a reciever wont be on the draft card this year though

  29. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Jan 11, 2012 2:05 PM

    I enjoy ripping Hines Ward, but what would it take to transition from 4th WR to receiver’s coach? I don’t know how that position is filled for the Steelers, but Ward knows the scheme, knows the routes, the techniques, and obviously how to block. He won’t play special teams, and unless there is an injury to Sanders, Brown or Wallace, he’s the odd man out.

  30. blackqbwhiterb says: Jan 11, 2012 2:34 PM

    One more season, 4th on the depth chart. One more shot at a 3rd ring. Steelers should keep him!

  31. rooney24 says: Jan 11, 2012 2:38 PM

    If he truly bleeds Steeler black and gold, he should hang it up and not put the organization in the position of having to cut him. Hines was one of the biggest voices about not wanting to move to 18 games and the wear and tear on players’ bodies. If he is truly worried about that, he should retire while as healthy as possible, so he can enjoy all of the money he has earned.

    Great player, but he is done. The drop happens pretty quickly for a lot of guys.

  32. psmith7716 says: Jan 11, 2012 2:41 PM

    Steeler fan in Denver: I remember when Elway retired – he said he wanted to play, but his body would not allow it (paraphrased). As I watched Hines this year, it seems he is in the same boat. Would love to see him stay on as an assistant coach, as I can not envision him in any other uniform. All I can say is, thanks for all you have done Hines. You are a true Steeler.

  33. tvelko2516 says: Jan 11, 2012 2:41 PM

    I would hope that the Steeler Organization would keep Hines Ward as a player, he has been such a good influence on so many people. I know that if he is Traded to another team I will never root for the Steelers ever again!!!!!

  34. steelersdefense says: Jan 11, 2012 2:48 PM

    While it is a business, I do believe the Rooney’s need to step in here and ensure that Hines Ward Retires a Steelers. Yes, his production was down and he may have lost a step. However, he was taken out of the game plan and a lot of times it’s not that he isn’t open or can’t get separation, he’s just not the first choice. Had Ben thrown an accurate pass, he beat Bailey in the playoff game last week and that catch could have put them in FG range. Cotcherry is going to leave, Sanders gets hurt a lot. Having Hines Ward there as insurance and to coach the new guys is the right thing to do. Bottom line, he’s one of the greatest Steelers ever and should retire as a Steeler.

  35. bozosforall says: Jan 11, 2012 2:53 PM

    Bet we see him on special teams next season. Ward is a gamer.

  36. righthereisay says: Jan 11, 2012 3:05 PM

    You got your 1,000 catches and 12,000 yards receiving, which is why you came back this year.

    End it, please.

  37. duanethomas says: Jan 11, 2012 3:20 PM

    Cut him and move on, he’s done and can’t run anymore. I love him, but the Steelers are not obligated to keep him on for old times sake. Get a younger guy who can play special teams and who can develop. No “quasi” coach at a million a year, no mentor, the Steelers have a coach. Cut Him. This is the NFL.

  38. flick72 says: Jan 11, 2012 3:41 PM

    It is not Hines fault they used him as a blocker for run plays. He still could have been used for the middle of the field in the 8 – 15 yard range. Him and Heath were under utilized in the playoff game against Denver.

  39. downfield1 says: Jan 11, 2012 4:09 PM

    Ward would be a great addition to the Jets. The offense needs some nastiness about them and he can cheap shot with the best of them. Go for it NYJet.

  40. 1historian says: Jan 11, 2012 4:25 PM

    He does indeed deserve to go out on his own terms, but when push comes to shove he won’t be able to do that.
    Therefore he should just retire – go out on your own terms.

  41. veinsrunblackandgold says: Jan 11, 2012 4:57 PM

    Let’s see….Batch was way over the hill and they retained his “dis”-services. But the way Tomlin runs the team, he’ll do the wrong thing and cut Ward loose. If Ward is cut loose, well we better dang well cut the dozen or so others who need sweep out the door….ie Gay, McFadden, Taylor, Smith, Hampton and too many others to mention.

  42. ncsteeler says: Jan 11, 2012 5:05 PM

    I can see a Jerome Bettis type deal where Ward plays at near minimum salary to maybe gets another ring. He is probably of more value to the Steelers than to another team (as was Bettis). He could be a valuable #4/#5 and if a couple of guys do down could see some real playing time, as did Bettis in 2004 and even 2005.

  43. ironheadjr says: Jan 11, 2012 5:27 PM

    I hope he talked to Franco Harris…

  44. steelcity73 says: Jan 11, 2012 6:41 PM

    If any of these comments about Hines retiring are coming from Steelers fans then u need to look in the mirror and tell yourself ur really a dooche bag!! Signing Hines for another yr is not gonna hurt this team. He’s 24 catches from moving up to seventh, and he could do that next yr and still help them win games. Arians is the reason Hines’s numbers were down. That and Ben has some new toys to play with both contributed. It’s his intangibles that all of you so called Steeler fans are missing. Hines will retire a Steeler, because the Rooney family is about loyalty and knowing what a player can do for the team!

  45. steelcity73 says: Jan 11, 2012 6:53 PM

    hineswardcriesafterfumbling, man u got some serious mental issues or Hines owes u a lot of money from some bet. Because for the amount of time and effort you put in that name ur a mental case! Hines would beat u silly u fuk tard!

    Sincerely,
    Steeler Nation

  46. steelcity73 says: Jan 11, 2012 6:57 PM

    Derty Ernie, you can’t even spell fuk tard!!! So why do you even get on the internet, oh to satisfy your manly urges go wank it and get off this site!!!

  47. sgtsnacks says: Jan 11, 2012 7:05 PM

    Hines still has a lot to offer as a player, team leader and player/coach.
    It would be a big mistake to let him go.
    Work out a deal!

  48. antibenapalooza says: Jan 11, 2012 7:19 PM

    I’d like to see Hines retire and use his newfound spare time to start an antibenapalooza club in GA!

  49. aaroncurryisbust says: Jan 11, 2012 10:09 PM

    Glad to see Wines Hard in the death throes of his career.

  50. jessethegreat says: Jan 12, 2012 9:07 AM

    One more year would give us another shot to see a Theismann / LT type play to send Hines off into the sunset properly.

    In all seriousness, Pitt is better off without him. They have young, talented and coachable receivers already in front of him on the depth chart. No use occupying a roster spot with him when that spot could be used for another lineman or a safety that is capable of coverage duties.

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