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Hines Ward talking to Steelers about return

St. Louis Rams v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

Hines Ward said in January that he is willing to take a pay cut to remain with the Steelers for another season and now he’s taking that message to the team.

Ward met with coach Mike Tomlin this week and has met with team president Art Rooney II as well in an effort to express how much he’d like to stay in Pittsburgh. Ward slipped down the depth chart last season and his playing time doesn’t figure to increase without an injury to one of the Steelers lead receivers. Still, Ward is willing to pare down his $4 million salary and thinks he can still be a contributor on the field. That leaves the ball in the Steelers’ court.

“We have so many issues, we’re $30 million over the cap,” Ward said to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We have to figure a way to get that down. My cap number is not huge if I restructure. There’s like 10 other guys they have to get. They really didn’t say. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad. We were just talking.”

Ward passed on the chance to say much — “I don’t have anything negative to say, I’d just rather not say anything.” — about departed offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and his decision to cut Ward’s playing time last season. Ward also offered no insight into his plans if the Steelers decide not to bring him back next season.

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25 Responses to “Hines Ward talking to Steelers about return”
  1. Joe says: Feb 3, 2012 9:15 AM

    Hines is taking his cue from Jerome Bettis. Take pay cuts, stay with the city who loves you, have a chance at a late-career Super Bowl ring. It’s a great financial decision because those guys are the two most marketable guys in Western Pennsylvania.

  2. joeinoh says: Feb 3, 2012 9:29 AM

    He’ll be the designated goon like on a hockey team. He’ll go in and make another dirty play and then go back to the bench to scout intoxicated females for Pig Ben to take advantage of after the game.

  3. bray72 says: Feb 3, 2012 9:34 AM

    Hines holds all the Steeler records. He’s 7th in receptions in league history, I believe.

    And Hines has been the consumate Steeler. Loyal and unselfish and just committed to doing his job with class. Great in the locker room and a real leader and teacher of the newer guys.
    I hope they can get to an agreement so he can remain a Steeler as he hopefully aproaches the Hall of Fame in a few years.

  4. tellmeaboutitbaby says: Feb 3, 2012 9:46 AM

    Please keep Hines for another year! Go out a Steeler, a winner, and a first round HOF’er!!!!

  5. duanethomas says: Feb 3, 2012 9:59 AM

    Make a sound football and business decision. Why keep him even at a reduced salary as a fourth WR if he can’t play special teams? It may not be popular but you they can’t hold on to him a year too long.

  6. quittsburghstoolers says: Feb 3, 2012 10:06 AM

    I’ll never understand why guys will risk making a
    HUGE fool out of themselves by hanging on like this.

    The handwriting’s on the wall, Whines. Has been for a while now.

    Retire now with at least a tiny bit of dignity…

  7. blacnsilvr says: Feb 3, 2012 10:12 AM

    About what?!?!?

  8. derfshambeaux says: Feb 3, 2012 10:12 AM

    Love him or hate him, everyone wishes they had a Hines Ward on their team.

  9. dexterismyhero says: Feb 3, 2012 10:16 AM

    @derfshambeaux says:Feb 3, 2012 10:12 AM

    Love him or hate him, everyone wishes they had a Hines Ward on their team.
    No we don’t!!!

    Dancing with the curb!!!

    They need to just release him.

  10. raven410 says: Feb 3, 2012 10:24 AM

    Hines can’t stand the thought of retiring after getting swept by the Ravens. He feels he has a few more cheap shots and smiles for Ed Reed and any other Raven.

  11. jr4real says: Feb 3, 2012 10:27 AM


    Memo from Art Rooney:

    see Bruce Arians.

  12. gbpackman says: Feb 3, 2012 10:37 AM

    Hines has very little to offer the Steelers anymore and both sides know it. He was great for that organization for a long time, but the time has come to cut the cord. They need all the cash and roster spots they can to shore up that O’line and the defense.

  13. flaccounibrow says: Feb 3, 2012 10:40 AM

    raven410 says:Feb 3, 2012 10:24 AM

    Hines can’t stand the thought of retiring after getting swept by the Ravens. He feels he has a few more cheap shots and smiles for Ed Reed and any other Raven.


    Boy did that sweep mean alot! Last time I checked both teams are watching the S.B. The only difference is that the Steelers will be drafting first this year. A pretty rare occurence.

  14. turdfurgerson68 says: Feb 3, 2012 11:10 AM

    Let me see if I’m understanding this correctly:

    He wants to make LESS money while increasing his chances at permant, non-reversible brain injury with every further blow to the head?!?

    Hey dude, you ever hear of a former Steeler who hung around the game to long?

    His name was Mike Webster. Look him up and see what happened to him.

  15. napoleonblownapart6887 says: Feb 3, 2012 11:13 AM

    What’s the going rate for a 4th WR these days? A little above leauge minimum I would imagine right? I love Hines as much as anyone but it’s a sticky business situation. I’d love to see him come back for one more year at a cheaper cost, then let him retire and head to Canton (eventually – nothing against my boy but when you look at the back log of talent waiting to get in there’s now way he gets in first ballot).

    Then have him pull a Carnell Lake – come back to the team that loves him and coach WRs – bring his work ethic to a whole new crop of Steeler receivers (cue the Ravens fans who make cheap shot jokes blah blah blah… cry me a river).

  16. ottograham says: Feb 3, 2012 11:26 AM

    Hang up the cleats Hines. Great career even into your later years. This season felt like you forced yourself onto the field even when you couldn’t compete at a high level consistantly. Will not ever forget the asset you were to this team. He’ll he’s the only Steeler I watched play from rookie season til your eventual retirement (8 years old when this cat was drafted I’m now 22).

    Thanks a bunch Hines but you’re just not worth the cash and/or roster spot.

  17. seanb20124 says: Feb 3, 2012 11:42 AM

    Did he beat that DWI arrest?

  18. cannonballdookie says: Feb 3, 2012 11:49 AM

    I’d hate to see Hines go but I think right now that might be the best decision. It seemed like as the season went on, he just really didn’t have much left. Most of the passes to him just felt forced and he would barely get to the line of scrimmage. I wish he could retire a Steeler because if he does play next season, it probably won’t be a very memorable year. It’s tough to pay a veteran to be your fourth wideout and not have him be a special teams player.

  19. youguysaretotalnerds says: Feb 3, 2012 11:56 AM

    flaccounibrow says:
    Feb 3, 2012 10:40 AM

    Boy did that sweep mean alot! Last time I checked both teams are watching the S.B. The only difference is that the Steelers will be drafting first this year. A pretty rare occurence.


    Whatever helps you sleep at night, buddy.

    As if failing to make the super bowl makes step #1(winning the division, beating the stealers twice) any less sweet.

    If someone tells us at the beginning of the season, “you’re not making the super bowl this year, but you can either sweep the Steelers and not make the super bowl, or not sweep them and still not make the super bowl”. I’ll take option A every single time.

  20. steelers1981 says: Feb 3, 2012 12:06 PM

    No question, Hines Ward is a Hall of Famer!

  21. Deb says: Feb 3, 2012 12:28 PM

    Hines is still money on certain types of plays. If he’s willing to take a paycut, it’s a win-win for everyone. No reason the team shouldn’t give it serious consideration. Hines has been a great teacher for the young receiving corps.

  22. ppc50 says: Feb 3, 2012 12:40 PM

    I remember Ward in college, he was Georgia’s QB, as well as playing some CB, WR, and H-back – great athlete. He has turned out to be an extremely good WR, mostly with the tools he has be given. Great teammate, passionate about the game, and a true Steeler. As a Cowboy fan, I would like to see him remain with the Steelers, but if he got let go, he would be great as a WR coach/player for Dallas. I think he would be a great addition wherever he would end up. The Steelers should keep him.

  23. jams1004 says: Feb 3, 2012 12:57 PM

    Ravens fans are all excited because they swept the Steelers..thats what they are clinging to now that they are sitting at home after that choke job @ New England.. Steelers lose the Ravens in the Regular Season..Steelers send the Ravens home in the playoffs. Steelers have bounced them out of the playoffs Twice and I’ll take that every single time. I can still see Harbaugh/Suggs/Lewis crying everytime they get sent home in the Playoffs. Suggs always has to eat crow and Harbaugh is flat out distraught. Even though they “swept” us this year, they still have nightmares of being sent home and watching the Steelers go to on to SUPERBOWLS!!!…and I love it!!!! They won’t sweep us next year. GO STEELERS!!

  24. godofwine330 says: Feb 3, 2012 1:43 PM

    I have always liked and respected Hines Ward. I actually hope he is able to come back. How nice would it be to come back and get a 1000 yard Pro-Bowl season and THEN retire.

  25. agc99 says: Feb 3, 2012 9:34 PM

    It’s time for Hines to retire. Can’t afford to give a roster spot to him over young players that can develop. Ever year late round picks and undrafted free agents make the steelers and become stars. Future players like Antonio Brown and Ike Redman will never get a chance if old. Guys hang around too long. Time to get young and turn over the roster.

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