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Steelers plan Hines Ward press conference

St. Louis Rams v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced a press conference today with their all-time leading receiver, Hines Ward. Presumably, the announcement will be that Ward is retiring from the NFL.

Although there’s no official word on the 36-year-old Ward’s retirement, it’s hard to think of any other reason that Ward would be making any type of announcement.

The Steelers released Ward early this month, and he has drawn no interest at all in the free agent market. Ward had noticeably slowed down last season, catching just 46 passes for 381 yards, for an average of only 8.3 yards a catch.

Now he appears to have accepted that his career is over. It was a brilliant career that saw him collect 1,000 catches for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns, with four Pro Bowls, two Super Bowl rings and a Super Bowl MVP award.

If Ward has played his final game, he’ll be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

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65 Responses to “Steelers plan Hines Ward press conference”
  1. awdlmd says: Mar 20, 2012 8:53 AM

    There are happy endings after all.

  2. rtrmusic says: Mar 20, 2012 8:55 AM

    In other news, Ward has just signed a contract with the NFL Network…..

  3. dagnon13 says: Mar 20, 2012 8:56 AM

    Too bad he’s not a HoF caliber receiver given the names that are still waiting.

    A great career to be sure, best of luck to him.

  4. rexryansdirtysock says: Mar 20, 2012 9:01 AM

    Hines was a really good player, but never great. No way he makes the HOF.

  5. ibottpsgoldpants says: Mar 20, 2012 9:02 AM

    As a Bengals fan I hate him, but I have nothing but respect for his game. The guy loved to play the game. There aren’t enough guys like that.

  6. ottomanismydog says: Mar 20, 2012 9:05 AM

    HOF

    Love ya Hines!

  7. myspaceyourface says: Mar 20, 2012 9:08 AM

    He might not be a 1st ballot HOF, but he is definitely a HOF.

    1,000 receptions
    10,000 yards
    Best blocking WR in a generation
    SB MVP
    2 SB rings
    Won DWTS

  8. coonsqualler says: Mar 20, 2012 9:08 AM

    I wonder if he will be all smiles??

    Just Sayin’…Go Brownies!!!

  9. bleedgreen says: Mar 20, 2012 9:09 AM

    rtrmusic says: Mar 20, 2012 8:55 AM

    In other news, Ward has just signed a contract with the NFL Network…..
    ———————————————-

    The other broadcasters better keep they head on a swivel!

  10. JackLeone says: Mar 20, 2012 9:09 AM

    He’ll be in Dark Knight Rises.. if that counts for anything…

  11. jimiinpa says: Mar 20, 2012 9:09 AM

    one less dirty player in the nfl now . good riddance

  12. birdgang says: Mar 20, 2012 9:10 AM

    The game of football just got a little bit safer with this guy out of it…

  13. quittsburghstoolers says: Mar 20, 2012 9:10 AM

    Wow, I am surprised that he finally admitted that he is washed up.

    I guess once he found out that even the IFL didn’t
    want him he figured the handwriting was on the wall.

    All I can say to old Whines Hard is:

    “DON’T LET THE DOORKNOB HIT YOU
    ON THE ASS ON THE WAY OUT”…

  14. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Mar 20, 2012 9:12 AM

    Too bad he’ll only be able to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the rest of the general public.

    I love to hate Hines Ward, but seriously, there are too many receivers in front of him still not in the Hall, and too many better receivers coming behind him.

  15. billinva says: Mar 20, 2012 9:20 AM

    I’d wear a helmet to the presser. Whine’s my try to take your head off.

  16. wtfru2 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:21 AM

    Does Chris Carter get in before 2017?

  17. jclii says: Mar 20, 2012 9:23 AM

    Someone must be really insecure about the Steelers to make their sign in name a shot at them and then to take a shot at one of the best all around receivers to play the game. Jealous much?

    I digress… I do believe two rings and a Superbowl MVP will put him in the Hall and I will be in the audience giving him a standing ovation when he comes to the podium. Thanks for everything Hines. You will always be on of my favorites.

  18. 11inthebox says: Mar 20, 2012 9:24 AM

    He wasn’t just a “receiver.” The guy was a complete football player. If its Wards desire to be in the Hall of Fame, I hope he’s voted in. But he doesnt need his career validated by some self-important committee. Ward did everything that was asked of him. And he did it extremely well.

  19. groess says: Mar 20, 2012 9:24 AM

    As much as you might hate him, (and that is understandable for fans of teams other than the Steelers), if you really say you wouldn’t want him on your team, you truly know nothing about football.

  20. blitzburgh2u says: Mar 20, 2012 9:27 AM

    Hines is a class act. He played hard and gave 100% every down he played. The best blocking WR I have ever seen.

  21. godofwine330 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:28 AM

    No man can outrun time. It catches us all. A great player, huge heart. Because of that huge heart he played in the NFL maybe 10 years longer than the talent he was born with would have taken him. When you outwork and outtrain your competition it is impossible not to notice and can make an average talent much more than that.

    Even as a Browns fan I wish him the best in his endeavors post career and with numbers better than both of the Steelers HOF receivers, he should be in the Hall one day.

  22. cbass59 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:28 AM

    One of the best all-around WR of all time. Loved by those who appreciate tough, hard working players. Disliked by jealous jersey-haters.

    Thanks for the 14 years and two Superbowls. You’ll always have two more rings than Ed Reed.

  23. steelersfan88007 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:31 AM

    If this is true, I’m glad to hear it. I know It’s selfish, seeing as how he wanted to play, but I would have hated to see him in any other uniform.

  24. djstat says: Mar 20, 2012 9:32 AM

    Why would anyone think he is a first ballot HOF is Tim Brown, Andre Reed, Art Monk and Michael Irvin were not first ballot? Nor was Cris Carter. All those WR were better then this drunking driving cheap shot artist

  25. fballlvr22 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:33 AM

    First of all, he is a HOF receiver as well as many others waiting, but the thing he has over them is Rings (multiple) and a certain award called the Super Bowl MVP.

    His numbers career-wise are as great if not better than john stallworth and and lynn swann.
    Future HOF for sure, but probably not a first-ballot.

  26. footballfan15 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:34 AM

    Wow…Way to stay classy Quittsburgh…

    Hines, good luck in your future endeavours…

  27. 3yardsndust says: Mar 20, 2012 9:35 AM

    Thank you, HOF Hines!!

  28. rufustfireflyjr says: Mar 20, 2012 9:43 AM

    awdlmd, I’m not so sure how “happy” it is, since he obviously wanted to keep playing and no one was interested.

  29. holeinone09 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:43 AM

    Excellent outcome for all involved. Hines doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone, and has to be set for life financially. Enjoy it, Hines, you deserve it. You will likely have media opportunities to pick from.

    GO STEELERS!!

  30. jobotjones says: Mar 20, 2012 9:44 AM

    Man its funny how jealous some people are…Let me know when your team has a WR with 1000 career catches and averages over 12yds/catch at the same time. Not to mention 2 rings and a SB MVP.

  31. jamaltimore says: Mar 20, 2012 9:46 AM

    glad to see this classless cheap shot artist out of the league. He should have retired 3 years ago after the superbowl he couldn’t play in because the ravens beat him up in AFC championship game.

    cue the stoolers fans saying “everyone would love the dirty player if he was on your team”

  32. johnnyjagfan says: Mar 20, 2012 9:47 AM

    Great carrer, great decision. Hall of Famer and proud he’s a Georgian!

  33. mydadyourmom says: Mar 20, 2012 9:47 AM

    Sour grapes. He must’ve roasted your team a few times or KO’d one of your favourite DB’s. Hell of a player.

  34. mac3333 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:48 AM

    NO HOF for you!!

    If Cris Carter (Actual talent) cant get in than Ward and his inflated values better not …

  35. bluerauchmann says: Mar 20, 2012 9:51 AM

    Anyone who’s not an obnoxious Stillers fan knows this guy has 999 receptions. That little shovel pass from the rapist was cheaper than half of this guy’s downfield ‘blocks’.

    Dirty player. Dirty Team. Dirty city. Dirty bandwagon fans.

  36. mightyleemoon says: Mar 20, 2012 9:51 AM

    He’ll be eligible AND enter the Hall.

  37. blue80hutthutt says: Mar 20, 2012 10:00 AM

    jobot, ward isn’t qualified to carry around Jerry Rice’s jock. you Steeler fans need to settle down with ur hines ward praise. he was good. he was never great.

  38. pftcensorssuck says: Mar 20, 2012 10:01 AM

    If by “retired” you mean “nobody else offered him a contract”, then yes, he’s “retired”.

  39. peterozelle says: Mar 20, 2012 10:01 AM

    Don’t hate – if he played for your team, you’d love him. Wish he played for mine for 12 years.

  40. numberonesteelerhater says: Mar 20, 2012 10:03 AM

    Too bad, now I will not get to see someone knock him out with a cheap shot as he did many other people. I really wanted to see someone knock that disgusting smile right off his face. He’s a dirty player. I don’t care what his credentials are.

  41. mmmpierogi says: Mar 20, 2012 10:04 AM

    djstat says: Mar 20, 2012 9:32 AM

    Why would anyone think he is a first ballot HOF is Tim Brown, Andre Reed, Art Monk and Michael Irvin were not first ballot? Nor was Cris Carter. All those WR were better then this drunking driving cheap shot artist

    ***********************************************************

    Can’t wait to see Hines get voted in as a first-ballot HOF’er – it’s going to be amazing.

  42. dirtyharry1971 says: Mar 20, 2012 10:07 AM

    say goodbye to the dirtiest player in the last 30 years of the NFL

  43. birdgang says: Mar 20, 2012 10:14 AM

    The game of football just became a little bit safer with this guy out of it…

  44. st1llerz1 says: Mar 20, 2012 10:15 AM

    Hines certainly won’t get into the HOF on the first ballet, nor should he. Given the names that have waited for years, he’ll probably have to wait a few years after he’s eligible.

    That being said, there will eventually be a spot for one of the toughest players to ever put on a helmet. Ward played the game the way it should be played. Did he blindside a couple of defensive players? Hell yes! Do defensive players take a shot on receivers whenever they get the opportunity? Hell yes!

    Ward gave 100% effort each and every play he strapped on his helmet. If you’re a Steeler fan, you absolutely love the guy. If you’re a crows, clowns or bungles fan; not so much. However, if he would have snapped his chinstrap for your team for the last dozen years you’d love him just as much as we do!

    I’m not a big fan of Ray Lewis for obvious reasons. He plays for the enemy. However, he’s a hell of a football player and I respect the hell out of him.

    Best of luck in whatever you do Hines. There’s a place reserved for you in Canton, Ohio.

    GO STEELERS!

  45. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Mar 20, 2012 10:24 AM

    Name another “potential” Hall of Fame receiver that wasn’t the primary receiver on his own team for some of his career.
    Andre Reid? Nope.
    Cris Carter? You could argue Randy Moss, but that was at the end of CC’s run.
    Tim Brown? No.
    Marvin Harrison? No.
    Hines Ward? When Plaxico was in Pittsburgh, he was the number 1. When Holmes was there, he was number 1. When Holmes left, Wallace was the number 1. Ward was the 3rd or 4th option on his own team last year, and someone thinks he’s first ballot?

    Receivers who will retire after Ward:
    Randy Moss
    Terrell Owens
    Larry FitzGerald
    Andre Johnson
    Calvin Johnson

  46. jclii says: Mar 20, 2012 10:32 AM

    Please mention your teams when you talk junk about Hines. I guarantee I can find someone you love on your team who isn’t HALF the player Ward was in his prime.

    I love internet toughies.

  47. jonkoethe says: Mar 20, 2012 10:34 AM

    1 of only 8 receivers w/1000 catches

    3 super bowl appearances, 2 wins, 1 MVP

    Hands downs the best blocking WR ever on a late 90’s early 00’s PITTSBURGH team with a very formidable running game

    He may not have been Jerry Rice as a route runner, but without a doubt Canton numbers.

    P.S. ask Ed Reed or Keith Rivers if they needs some Ibuprofen…

  48. pravin68 says: Mar 20, 2012 10:35 AM

    Ward is not a first ballot HOFer. But the guy was a football player. Sure there are non-HOF WRs with more receiving talent and production, but this guy just made football plays all the time. ANd he did win the SB XL MVP for his receiving production.

    Ward deserves to get into the HOF even ahead of players like Bettis. Ward was clutch in almost every single playoff game he played in.,

  49. pack0314 says: Mar 20, 2012 10:39 AM

    Would have loved to see him as a Packer. That being said, I think he’s a good to great WR, but I just don’t see him as HoF worthy. Did he ever lead the league in scoring? Catches? Yards? If he’s got a shot, I would think it would be on his “all-aroundness” plus stellar blocking. I don’t think that’s enough to get him in, but I could be wrong.

  50. dachozen1 says: Mar 20, 2012 10:41 AM

    I gre up on Mean Joe, Jack Lambert and other Steeler greats. I must say he is in my top 5 Steelers of all time. The way he played the game will not be duplicated. He is 1 of the last of a dying breed in the NFL. It is amazing how he changed the game and some rules. He’s the reason why there isnt crack backs anymore. This league is headed to softville.

  51. cincyorangenblack says: Mar 20, 2012 10:44 AM

    now he can concentrate on DUI’s and looking like a chipmunk

  52. cincyorangenblack says: Mar 20, 2012 10:49 AM

    His best attribute wasn’t even receiving. it was cheapshotting/blind-siding people coming back for blocks.

    Only reason steeler fans love Wines Hard so much is bc he’s just like them- scumbag to the core

  53. tluke25 says: Mar 20, 2012 10:51 AM

    Can’t believe so many people hate this guy. After reading these comments it’s almost like they are comparing him to Hitler.

    Ward is one of the nicest guys in Steeler history. That is why he is so well liked in the Pittsburgh area.

    As far as saying he is not going to be a Hall of Famer: That is being a little bit ridiculous. Yes, there is a log jam at WR right now, and some are having trouble making it on the first ballot because they are splitting votes, but all of them will be in the HOF shortly including Ward.

  54. bcjim says: Mar 20, 2012 10:56 AM

    Are they going to apologize for all the dirty and unnecessary hits he put on people?

  55. dawgtown86 says: Mar 20, 2012 10:57 AM

    I saw his 1000th ‘catch’ and it was every bit as cheap as the shots he put on great football players for years. Won’t miss him for the same reason no one will miss James Harrison, typical Steelers confusing cheap shots with talent.

  56. mitchitized says: Mar 20, 2012 10:59 AM

    Don’t you have to be an adult to register for an account in order to leave comments?

    To all the people using terms like “Stoolers”, “Rapeistburger” and “Pissburgh”: Please put your daddy’s iPhone down and pay attention to the teacher; or I’m going to send you home with a sternly worded note for your parents.

    They had to change the rules due to Hines Ward’s ferocious blocking. Jerry Rice didn’t force them to change the rules, as well as many other famous wideouts throughout the years. They put up crazy Madden-like numbers for sure, but they never really had such an impact that it caused the league office to change the rules.

    I say this because he had tremendous impact on the game. He hit like a defender, in an era where wideouts are generally accepted as “divas”. I’ll take the ferocious player over drama queen on any Sunday, thank you very much!

    There are plenty of players whom I consider awful human beings, lowest of the lowest, and if they retire I’m not going to trash their fan’s discussion threads with a bunch of petty hate.

    Guess that was too much to ask from other people, er, other people’s children.

  57. farvite says: Mar 20, 2012 10:59 AM

    As a bonus, can they retire Ryan Clark too??.. If not, how ’bout just shutting him up?!

  58. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Mar 20, 2012 11:00 AM

    jclii, no one here is being a tough guy, except you.

  59. Steeler's Will says: Mar 20, 2012 11:13 AM

    numberonesteelerhater says:
    Mar 20, 2012 10:03 AM
    “Too bad, now I will not get to see someone knock him out with a cheap shot as he did many other people. I really wanted to see someone knock that disgusting smile right off his face. He’s a dirty player. I don’t care what his credentials are.”
    ——————-
    Now ball your little fists up and punch your keyboard. It’s ok you’re not really a sissy, those are just tears of rage.
    NFL defenders around the league had a shot at Hines every week for many years, and failed 1000 times. So either stop rooting for a team that sucks, or just accept that the NFL is a spectator sport and your team can’t win ‘em all :)

  60. dawgtown86 says: Mar 20, 2012 11:32 AM

    @mitchitized LOL. People disagree with you. Calling them children, their disagreements ‘petty hate’ and getting mad about name calling but not the actual cheap shots or the way your quarterback treats women is a really commendable, grown up response.

    BTW, the reason truly great receivers didn’t affect a rule change is because they weren’t looking for every opportunity to play dirty. Hines was voted by his peers as the 6th dirtiest player in the NFL in 2011 (Harrison was #2). It’s not a question they’re dirty among players, but your biased opinion is cute.

  61. fullerman says: Mar 20, 2012 11:51 AM

    Good luck Hines, it was great to watch u here in steeltown …You had a great career and made tons of money…time to go to the booth and spread your knowledge there or possible coaching. Glad you are not moving on to another team…it would be hard to watch you get plowed over by a guy you hit a couple of years ago when he was a rookie..good luck and stay sober!!!!!

  62. northerntanned says: Mar 20, 2012 12:01 PM

    Loved the way he played and every team wants guys like Ward. He always reminded me of Rodney Harrison or (in the NBA) Bill Laimbeer; you know a guy you loved to hate but really respected their toughness, abilities and play (after the whistle). And much like Harrison and Laimbeer he is not likely going to get into the HOF. Unfortunately, time catches up to all of us that keep revolving around the sun.

  63. ampatsisahypocrite says: Mar 20, 2012 12:20 PM

    Ward you are the MAN. Reading all the little whiny schoolgirl haters comments here only confirms it. Dawgtown86 is especially adorable, no doubt sitting there in her bunny slippers crying about that mean, mean Hines. Go have another cup of herbal tea and a pedicure, and leave watching football to the men.

    Ward took on LINEMEN as a WR. So pardon me while I laugh at the haters.

    Next stop Hall of Fame, and yes he will be going in as a PLAYER — sorry, haters.

    If you can’t appreciate Ward, you should be watching tennis, not football.

  64. ampatsisahypocrite says: Mar 20, 2012 12:49 PM

    I once saw Ward take out a LINEMAN, sacrificing the body to protect Roethlisberger on a scramble-run against Cleveland. All you haters really make me sick. Like I said, go watch tennis, and leave the football to the men.

    Not only that, but you losers can’t even be accurate — Ward never went at the knees or to the back of the head. When he planted Ed Reed, that was FACE TO FACE, man to man. He didn’t go at the head when he took out the Cincy linebacker. In fact, the only cheap shot I can remember with Ward was when Ray Lewis hit him in the helmet last season — but funny, Ravens fans don’t seem to talk about how cheap Ray Lewis is.

    If you can’t recognize Ward as a great football player, and if you’re on this board talking negatively about him — you are the definition of LOSER.

  65. jclii says: Mar 20, 2012 1:26 PM

    hineswardcriesafterfumbling says:
    Mar 20, 2012 11:00 AM
    jclii, no one here is being a tough guy, except you.

    —————-

    Thanks for proving my point, tough guy.

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